Regardless of how manufacturers promote their products or what salesmen or women tell you when purchasing your server or desktop computer, these are still fragile machines and should be treated as such. During an unexpected power surge and subsequent power failure, your computer will immediately shut down. This will cause the hard drive (the essential spinning component inside the machine that stores all your data) to become damaged. In many cases, the recovery system may be unable to either detect the drive itself or the spin cycle can be affected due to its fragility. In a situation like this, anything between a temporary data loss and/or a permanent internal hardware issue could occur. All business owners understand even temporary data loss means loss of time and loss of earnings.
High and Low Power
Unbeknown to many companies variations of a high and low power supply can be a problem maker, an unseen high voltage is invariably responsible for general overheating of equipment, and unseen low voltage affects your servers and computers from working at their optimum levels, and this usually goes undetected by business owners and staff alike.
Clean Power do you have it?
Clean power is a further example of a factor that is unknown to the business owner that can cause severe damage to servers and hardware. Certain buildings in areas around the world do not have ‘clean-power’ coming through their mains. The definition of ‘clean power’ is having the right balance of voltage and frequency. ‘Unclean power’ is known to make servers and hardware work at a higher rate, producing long-term deterioration of various components.
The UPS Solution
High-quality uninterruptible power supply systems (UPS) are the answer. Many people assume they are purely an energy power back-up, which in essence ‘yes’ they are but there is much more to these machines that protect your livelihood.
They are also designed to protect you on a continual basis, not just from power failure but to protect against the unseen ‘unclean power’.
The essence of a UPS system provides you with enough time, without interruption with power back-up in the event of an outage. However, they are not to be confused with a generator. They will allow you enough time to save essential data and take care of your primary business priorities to shut down your system correctly.
There are various UPS system available, and many also assist with cleaning ‘unclean power’ before reaching your servers and computer system, even sending a signal to inform you to shut your system down correctly as it senses a potential upcoming issue, an invaluable asset to have for any business dependent on servers and hardware.
Here are some examples of the UPS systems available today ranging from the most basic to the latest technology on the market:
By far the most straightforward design and naturally the least expensive. The battery and inverter are on stand-by mode until required.
Standby Ferro UPS
This form of UPS is also a standby mode model; however, it features a significant upgrade.
The standby UPS’ transfer switch no longer exists, instead a Fero resonant transformer, in this case, is a buffer when an outage occurs and primary power is no longer inflow.
Line Interactive UPS
This design is unrelated to the standby designs.
No longer needed are the inverter a separate battery supply/charger or source selection switch, instead replaced with a combination between an inverter and converter, meaning when the line power is constant the battery is charging; upon power failure the system switches and reverses itself.
Double Conversion (DC)
During a power outage an online UPS has zero transfer time though it does come with some inefficiencies, call them drawbacks if you will.
Delta Conversion UPS
This being the newest design available on the market.
Efficiency in its design is its chief characteristic, the developer’s goal was to eliminate the inefficiencies of the (DC).
UPS systems come in all shapes, sizes and capabilities and are an essential back-up for businesses. There are industrial UPS that can provide emergency power to entire buildings. Fairbanks, Alaska has a UPS that can support an entire city including rural communities in the event of power loss.
Unfortunately, in some cases, business owners and building management have the mentality of ‘it will never happen to us’ but with ever-changing weather patterns around the world in recent years up to and including 2018 this could prove to be a very costly assumption to make. UPS equipment is essential protection for your servers and hardware, and although it goes unseen, it is often underestimated in the day-to-day running of businesses.
When your business and livelihood is at stake, a pinch full of preventative medicine is far more cost-effective than a fistful of cure.
Tim Blaine is an avid tech blogger, traveller and sports enthusiast, who likes to share his tech knowledge. He is associated with Pantherdata who are experts in the field of UPS Power Supply (UPS) in Australia.