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Peripheral UPS vs Central

Posted on 2007-08-04
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Quick question (I hope) on centralized UPS versus peripheral. Currently, we are running mostly UPS-AVRs at the workstations and servers. Using Cyberpower. Just got burnt so many times with APC. But, that's another question altogether.

I have been reading up a bit on centralized UPS. It sounds like in the end it may be a better solution. But, of course, given that the network was put in after the building and electrical, it may not be that easy to have all power to each client coming back to a central point. I do have a good electrician who will do things inexpensively for me.

Any ideas would be helpful.

Oh, and a quick question since we are on UPS. I hope you don't mind. I can run a whole different question if that's the rule or contact Cyberpower which I may do anyway. But, I have a CPS1500 AVR for my server, and is working great for delivering clean power to the server. But when I use the UPS to protect the Ethernet cables, the server doesn't "see" the network. I have set it up correctly and, obviously, switch the cables just in case they were labeled wrong. The software is installed and the software is working.

Thanks for the help. Sorry for the second question. Please ignore it if it is not kosher.
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Question by:Bert2005
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by:michko
ID: 19639276
Bert2005 -

I'm actually in the bidding process on a full UPS backup (including generator, although I'm getting pricing for UPS with and without generator) for one of our buildings.  Right now all of our servers, network switches, etc are on a mis-matched group of peripheral UPSs.  I would definintely recommend a centralized UPS solution for a variety of reasons.  Most importantly, it consolidates you into one place.  You don't have to worry if the battery on ups xxy is still good, or if it will only hold up for half the time the others do.  It can also allow other items to run, such as your LAN room a/c unit (very important).  Your voltage regulation is also done from a centralized location, you don't have to worry about individual UPSs failing, or incorrectly filtering the voltage.   Here's some decent info on it from Teal technologies (and it's not just a positive sales pitch, they do talk about negatives).  Along with a couple of others that I used to help write my justification for our backup solution:
http://www.teal.com/products/App%20note%20AN-12.htm
http://www.leonardo-energy.org/drupal/node/1415
http://forums.isxusergroups.com/message.jspa?messageID=81


As you your second question - yes it should probably be posted separately, but no big deal.  I'm not familiar with the Cyberpower units.  Personally, I'd contact Cyberpower on it since it sounds as if you've done everything according to their book.

Hope this helps,

michko
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by:Bert2005
ID: 19650482
michko,

Thanks for the help. In your last site, Joshua wrote the following quote as his second paragraph about "centralized individual UPS." Where would I go to see more about that?

http://forums.isxusergroups.com/message.jspa?messageID=81

"There are options available to help manage such a deployment and it would be worth looking into a centralized management stratedgy for 40 individual systems."
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michko earned 2000 total points
ID: 19654294
From his comments, I'm thinking he was talking about a backup solution that doesn't just cover the LAN room.  It would tie into your building power and supply backup power to various outlets throughout the building.  As long as the workstations you need to have up (your critical desktops) are plugged into the backed-up outlets (which are usually red or orange in color), they will run from the main UPS when building power goes out.  This is in essence a building backup solution, you just choose the outlets you want to put on the backup supply, rather than interrupting the main trunk to the building and backing up the whole thing (which I what I am trying to get implemented.  Based on what the costs come in as, I may have to scale back from doing the entire building and look at individual offices/outlets).  

I did some looking for information on centralized desktop power solutions, and here is what I came up with:
http://www.powerkinetics.com.my/bulletin06.htm
http://www.serverwatch.com/hreviews/article.php/3634071
http://www.wattmester.hu/pdf/apc.pdf (note - fairly large pdf)

Although I know you're not a big APC fan, they do have a very extensive database of white papers, how-to's, and even a learning section of their web page.  I've found them to be a good source of reference material.
http://www.apc.com/corporate/learning_center/index.cfm
http://www.apc.com/go/promo/whitepapers/index.cfm?tsk=s897y

I hope these help.  My specific project, we've got a couple of vendors bidding for the job so my role is mostly overview.  I would think that if you're setting up a centralized ups solution, the first step would be to identify exactly what areas/offices/workstations you want on your backup supply.  Then find a power solution provider (or more than one, never stick with just one bid) in your area to price setting it up the way you want.

michko
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by:Bert2005
ID: 19657077
michko,

Thanks for all  your help and your time researching all this. Hopefully, it has been helpful for your as well. I would prefer to do centralized, but I can probably only afford peripheral. At the moment, I have a rather high-end peripheral device for the server, one high-end one for the switch, modem and router (both being in two different places) and a step down one for my personal computer.

I will add peripherals one at a time to the other workstations. While it is not the best solution given some are unprotected, being on a budget dictates what one can do.

I did read the white papers, and they mentioned VoIP. I came very close to a VoIP solution, but the company from Portland who hosted it, seemed a bit sketchy. It's funny, because when I Google things like VoIP Business solution and Commercial VoIP, etc. I still get fifty hits for Vonage and other home suppliers. The company I was going to use I believe had a website called www.Voip2phone.com, but it is not being used currently, so that may be a sign that they are no longer. I remember that as I was opening my business, I was trying to get the network up, and the last thing I needed was two variables at once. But, a VoIP solution is probably something for a whole other day.
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by:michko
ID: 19657330
Bert2005,

First - thank you.  Solving this question put me over 500,000 points (which is overall Sage status), and in the top 500 ranked Experts at the same time.  Since I only started seriously answering questions about 6 months ago, this was a milestone for me.  I appreciate your quick acceptance and grade.  

I understand exactly where you're coming from.  Your setup is what I currently have.  With 18 servers, I've got 9 peripheral UPSs.  Some of my workstations have their own desktop UPS, most don't.  Budget is definitely the big driver.  I guess I got lucky on mine.  I made a proposal that my LAN room (at the very least) should be on a generator, because of this simple fact:  We have an Emergency Operations Center in the building next to this one.  Great, if we have a disaster and lose power, they're on a generator.  However, since the LAN room ISN'T, they'll be doing everything on paper, with no access to their data, servers, etc.  When I proposed this, the discussion went around, and it grew from getting a power backup for the LAN room, to a backup solution (generator and UPS) for the whole building.  Hopefully they'll still be for it when the final pricing proposals come in.  ;)

And as far as the VOIP solution goes - I'm not sold on their technology for this yet.  Give it some time and see how it goes.  Although I like new technology, I'd really consider the VOIP power backup as still being in beta test, if you know what I mean.

Once again, thank you.  I'm glad I was able to help.  You just got lucky - I'd been doing all this research for myself anyway!

michko
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by:Bert2005
ID: 19659305
michko,

Congrats on the Sage status. You deserve it! And, good luck with your proposal.
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