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Battery Backups / Surge Protectors

Posted on 2010-11-19
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi EE Members,

I have a question that I would like to ask to see what everyone's opinion is. I have an HP ProLiant Server ML350 G6 with 4GB RAM and 1 Xeon X5250 Processor and 2 Hard drives and 1 Power Supply.

The question that I have is can I use an APC Back-UPS XS 1500 for a Battery Backup / Surge Protector?

I went to APC's website and used they product selector tool and they suggest that I use a $500 APC Smart-UPS 1500.
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Question by:asp_net2
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13 Comments
 
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:ken2421
ID: 34177792
asp net2,
Yes they have made a reccomendation that is different that what you have. If money wasn't an object we would all have the best of everything. In the real world we buy and use the best we can afford.

Almost any UPS is better that no UPS. The one that you have will surely be reliable for your system though it may lack a few of the features of the more expensive one. If you can afford and want the reccomended one then buy it. On the other hand I would have no problem with using the one that you have for the unit you describe.

HTH,
Ken
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LVL 4

Author Comment

by:asp_net2
ID: 34177851
Ok, thank you, I was worried about power spikes and the unit I have not proteciting it like the one APC recommened.
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Expert Comment

by:ken2421
ID: 34177862
In that respect it should do a equally well.

Good luck,
Ken
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Expert Comment

by:losip
ID: 34179342
While not wishing to put you off the Back-UPS, I would point out that the Smart-UPS will protect you against twice the surge energy than the Back-UPS will.

The power supply in the ML350G6 is pretty resilient to surges because it just produces 48v DC that is distributed to the motherboard power regulators so you should be OK with the Back-UPS.

At the expense of some surge protection but giving you much better resilience/redundancy, what I would do is to put the money saved towards a second power power supply for the G6.  Then, I would connect one supply to raw utility power and one to the Back-UPS.  This will mean that your server will stay up if the utility power fails or if the UPS fails.
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by:
jimbeam69 earned 250 total points
ID: 34179931
the main thing to consider is the Watts supplied by the UPS and the Watts needed by your equipment. If the UPS is rated at 500 Watt and your server consumes 500 watt the UPS may not give you enough time for a clean shutdown.
I would rate the UPS 3x higher than the actual wattage needed. Also you need to add peripherals to the wattage, such as the monitor or maybe external drives, and consider how much time it takes to shutdown.
For me it was cheaper to buy separate battery backups, one for each box and one for the monitors and external hard drives.

surge protection is extremely important, get a good one. I had once lost all electronic equipment in my house in Dublin, IRL after a lightning storm (how likely is that huh:) which didn't even come close to the house
hope this helps...
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:losip
ID: 34180149
In your case, your server will consume just under 300 watts with the configuration you quote.  This means that the Smart-UPS 1500 will power the server for around 52 minutes in the event of power failure - if the server is the only device connected to the UPS. Similarly, the Back-UPS will power it for around 22 minutes - plenty of time to shut down cleanly but not to maintain service for long.
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LVL 55

Assisted Solution

by:andyalder
andyalder earned 250 total points
ID: 34183993
An APC Back-UPS will not work with a reasonably recent HP Proliant, they require pure sine wave input. as soon as there's a brown-out the server will crash. That's true for several other server manufacturers as well.

PSUs capable of running on the pseudo sine-wave that comes out of cheap UPSs are less efficient than PSUs that require pure sine wave, so to allow them to say "our servers are more efficient than theirs" manufacturers use the less-flexible high efficiency PSUs.

Smart-UPS have pure sine wave output so are OK, or you could buy Eaton instead of APC, just as good, arguably better but also cheaper because they've got less of the market share.

Oh, and I don't think the PSUs in Proliants just turn AC into -48V, if that was the case then -48VDC common slot PSUs for a DL380 G7 would cost a bit less than $750 each because they'd just be a bit of wire.
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Expert Comment

by:losip
ID: 34184665
AndyAlder: I'm always willing to learn from a Genius so I would be pleased if you could point me to documentation that says a stepped sine wave approximation waveform will not work with the 503296-B21 High Efficiency power supply (or the higher power versions).
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 34186735
I'm not sure there is official documentation, there have been many threads about people not getting them to run on step aproximated power though, for example http://forums13.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/questionanswer.do?admit=109447627+1290419913326+28353475&hpweb_printable=true&threadId=1199678

There's http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c02492972/c02492972.pdf but it's more about HP branded UPSs (most are from Eaton) than the common slot PSUs.

You can see http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Servers/Q_25141933.html where HP support told them they needed pure sine wave output, no authoratitive reference though.

As usual it's all over the Internet, Google gives lots of hits for Proliant plus "pure sine wave" but HP don't have a public document on it.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:losip
ID: 34186753
I'll check with the engineers in Houston who design the power supplies.
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by:losip
ID: 34189471
AndyAlder: I've had a reply from the design engineers.  The definitive answer is this:

In the past, HP have had issues with UPS units that have an extended zero voltage duration but this is not true of their current products such as the common slot high efficiency power supplies which work perfectly well on step-approximated sine wave supplies.  However, he said "why back up an enterprise class server with a PC class UPS?" which seems a reasonable comment but not what the OP asked.

As for the output of these power supplies, I can confirm that they are a single voltage which is passed to the motherboard and not the +5v, -5v, +12v, +3.3v of "normal" supplies.  However, the voltage is 12v DC not 48v (slip of my memory!).
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 34189741
I'd like to see HP make that a statement on their website since it's pretty obvious from other threads that they don't work so well on step-approximated UPSs.
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Author Comment

by:asp_net2
ID: 34193534
Hi all,

First, let me that each and everyone of you for ALL your notes and time. I don't have much money to spend and put most of all my money for my business into this server. I do agree that i should put money into something that is going to protect my investment. I have a newegg account and would like to know which one I should go with for this server. Once again thank you all for your time, it is very much appreciated.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842101387&Tpk=SMT1500

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842111027&cm_re=OMNIVS1500XL-_-42-111-027-_-Product

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842111100&Tpk=SMART1500XL

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842111296&Tpk=OMNIVS1500XLTAA
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