Cost-Effective UPS

Im looking for a cost effective UPS battery backup system that will offer us 30 minutes of battery backup life for our 2 Dell R210 Servers, Cisco Firewall, Netgear Switch and Linksys Wireless AP. I would also like to have ethernet connectivity to get alerts from the UPS in case the batteries are low.
Who is Participating?
Hi! In order to get a good feel for your battery runtime, you need to calculate your power usage. Once you have that, American Power Conversion ( has a runtime calculator that you can use to estimate your battery runtime during a power outage.

The Dell R210s have 250W power supplies, so max load is 500W, though in practice real power usage is probably lower than that and varies depending on what your server is doing, high cpu utlization, high fans, high disk usage will cause your power usage to increase.

You don't mention which cisco firewall that you use. A netgear 24 port smart switch GS724T draws about 21.5 Watts.  A linksys WAP610N wireless access point doesn't show specs on the power draw, if you flip over some of your units and look at the bottom label or power supplies you can see the power draw. As an estimate, lets call it 20 watts for the cisco firewall, and another 10 watts for the access point.

This puts you at about 550Watts max power usage, not including monitors or other peripherals. At that rate, most UPS's will only give you about 10 minutes of runtime (1500Volt Amps) and you'd have to get an extended battery pack(s) to get up to 30 minutes. At 200Watts draw, a 1500Volt Amp battery pack will get you 33 minutes of usage.

To make this easier, you might consider picking up a KillOWatt device, plugging everything into it, and get the exact wattage you are drawing, then add about 20-25% to it to take into account varying usage of the servers, and use that for your calculation.

In practice, most small UPSs are only designed to give enough power to gracefully shutdown a server, only the bigger and more expensive UPSs give you any signficant runtime.
Update: I have used APC, Tripplite, and Cyber Power UPS's, the most inexpensive units have been the CyberPower. They have a CP1500AVRLCD unit that costs about $219 and will provide 11 minutes of power at 450Watts power draw. They are a bit easier to carry around too as they are lighter.
Mak sur you get one with pure sine wave output, efficient server PSUs won't work with simulated sine wave (square wave) UPS outputs.
You can probably find good prices for APC SmartUPS units on eBay - the equipment from companies that close down are often sold off there.  The SmartUPS models have pure sine-wave output.
I use an Ultra brand UPS. It's been reliable for me, and it is inexpensive. Mine doesn't have network access, but it has a USB, and my PC runs an Ultra UPS agent that can send me an email on any event.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.