Blackouts, Brownouts and Storms - OH MY!

Yesterday, in Connecticut, over 80,000 homes and businesses experienced interruptions in electricity. Outages ranged from quick blips to several hours and unfortunately, some folks are still without power this morning. While resetting your digital clock can be a slight inconvenience from an outage, it can be a different story when your computer shuts down. The inconvenience can be far greater resulting in thousands of dollars in lost time and data.

Many people think that using a surge protector is enough, but they don't protect devices when there is a power loss. Today's complicated software programs (especially database and accounting software) require many files to be kept open. When a server shuts down unexpectedly, those files typically get damaged, which is a nightmare!

Investing in an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) can be a lifesaver. Protecting your desktop, phone system and server should be a priority.

UPS units vary greatly in capabilities and price. Entry level models for a desktop should have a volt amp (VA) range of 500 to 1000 and will cost between $120 and $150. (Price could increase depending on how many minutes of battery operated power you need.)
A server battery should have a VA of 1500 or higher and cost at least $300.

Watch this video to learn more about choosing the correct UPS unit. Additionally, How-To Geek posted an informative article you may find interesting. Click here to read more.
TIPS for UPS and Electrical Components 
Surge Only Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) - UPS units need to be configured correctly. We often see computers or phone systems plugged into the wrong outlet. There are options for surge protection only in addition to battery backup plus surge protection outlets. In a typical network closet or even under a desk, the back panels are often hard to see as they tend to be buried with many devices in the way. Use a flashlight to check that components are plugged in correctly so you are getting the benefit of the battery.

"SMART" UPS Devices - SMART units have many features and may include: network connectivity (USB or Ethernet ports), humidity sensor, temperature-controlled fans, software access, email notification of problems and (automatic) graceful server shut down for extended outages.

LCD display UPS with LCD Display - LCD displays easily monitor unit status, load and battery meters, power status, error codes and more. We suggest that the computer load should never be more than 60%. And check the display often because a red light usually indicates a dead battery!

UPS Battery Life Expectancy - most batteries last 3 to 5 years at most. Ordering a replacement battery insert is a cost-effective solution for a dead battery (which should be recycled); however, technology advances so quickly that you may want to install a new system instead.
30 amp
Circuit Size and Runtime - Most office electrical outlets are 20 amp. If you have a 30 to 50 person office and wish to install a server battery that will last at least 4 hours, you'll need a 30 amp twist-lock circuit to carry the load. Batteries available for 20 amp circuits generally will last less than an hour. (It isn't that expensive to have an electrician install a 30 amp twist-lock socket.)

Battery Overload - We often see servers that are protected by undersized batteries. In these instances, the batteries are being overused and will burn out quickly.

DON'T Plug These In - Laser Printers, coffee makers, space heaters and similar devices should not be plugged into the battery backup. They will kill the battery because they use too many watts!
Buying Guide 
APC, Minuteman and Tripp Lite all have product selectors if you need help deciding which product to buy. Click on the images below and for APC, click on either Desktop or Server for more information.
APC 
 
Minuteman Power Technologies 
 
Tripp Lite 
Choosing the right battery backup can be very overwhelming! If you are interested in learning more, call us with questions! Let us save you the headache and expense of damaged equipment or the nightmare of having to restore computers from a backup. We're here to help! Call me on my direct line today at (203) 938-3000!