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Office and IT server room power needs

Posted on 2012-03-21
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Last Modified: 2012-04-04
Hey all, I just joined a firm and wanted to find out the power/electrical usage of our office (fairly small) and server room.


I don't fully understand amps and circuits and things of that nature, but want to find out what power/electrical capacity we have and how to go about finding it


Any information would be helpful, links to such information for IT server rooms would be helpful as well


Thanks
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Question by:dealstrike
8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:pjam
ID: 37747315
We probably need more info, but a couple of points to start:
If you plan on a large UPS for your servers it may require 220volt special plug.
All servers\UPS should be on dedicated circuits.
Nice if computers are also, but usually not possible.
All computers/servers should be on a UPS though.
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by:cwstad2
ID: 37747372
Firstly you would need to make an assesemt of what exactly equipment would need have a secondary power backup. Firstly you would need a UPS of some sorts to keep your servers running long enough for either the power to come back on, or to be able to shut them down correctly. You could also have an accompanying generator, depending of course how critical you think it is to keep the systems running. Take look at the link below and that will allow you to guage roughly what kind of UPS is required

http://www.apc.com/tools/ups_selector/
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Expert Comment

by:jhyiesla
ID: 37747382
To discover what you have, you can do a couple of things.  You can go to each device and look at the power label that every device should have and see what the Amps are. The number you come up with will probably be a little high since most things don't draw that kind of amperage all the time. Still it gives you a good ballpark.  The other thing you can do, which I would recommend anyway, is to hire an electrical vendor, preferably one with business experience to come in and do a survey for you, letting you know what you have and what's being used and then helping you to plan out future expansion.
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Author Comment

by:dealstrike
ID: 37747401
Thanks, I am basically lookign for electricity 101 when it comes to APCs, circuit panels, power, etc... (amps, volts, etc)
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by:jhyiesla
ID: 37747686
I can't speak for everyone here, but, although we can give you advice based on our experiences, ultimately, to do it right, you will need to services of an electrical contractor.
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by:Ess Kay
Ess Kay earned 166 total points
ID: 37747705
I agree with jhyiesla.


Here is some 101 for you


Ill do a simple breakdown for you first

Electricity, is the existence of ELECTRONS flowing though some kind of metal wire

Voltage, otherwise known as electrical potential difference or electric tension (denoted ¿V and measured in volts, or joules per coulomb) is the potential difference between two points — or the difference in electric potential energy per unit charge between two points.[1] Voltage is equal to the work which would have to be done, per unit charge, against a static electric field to move the charge between two points. A voltage may represent either a source of energy (electromotive force), or it may represent lost or stored energy (potential drop)

Or simply : voltage - how many electrons needed t power something, (on the plug) or how many electrons it can supply (on a battery)



AMPS in practical terms this means that measures of electrons flowing per second   (e.g., "a 20 mA circuit")


A voltmeter can be used to measure the voltage (or potential difference) between two points in a system; usually a common reference potential such as the ground of the system is used as one of the points.



APC is just a brand of backup battery like triplite. something you buy so that if the power is out you have 5 minutes to flip it back on or save everything on the computer


http://www.tripplite.com/en/products/ups-battery-backup-systems.cfm?gclid=CMvIwYKd-K4CFUio4Aodnz04zA




here is a video on how to check voltage
www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NJPUXC2frQ


finally, you may also be able to see the voltage in the bios, but dont quote me on that
hope this helps
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Assisted Solution

by:Callandor
Callandor earned 167 total points
ID: 37748579
A couple of good articles on power needs of server rooms:
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/networking/calculating-systems-power-requirements/188
http://www.techrepublic.com/forum/questions/101-334765/server-room-power-backup

If you're new at this, obviously you should get an expert who understands it because you don't want to learn by mistakes when it comes to power.
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Accepted Solution

by:
kardell2006 earned 167 total points
ID: 37752334
I am going through a similar situation in needing to analyze the battery backup for our Server Room. Essentially you need to determine the total Wattage of the equipment set to run off battery backup. Alot of our Dell R710, R810 Servers use ~500 watts, Then choose a Backup System that can handle the total load. Battery packs can be added to increase runtime.

Depending on your needs would determine how much battery capacity you add. At minimum you need to be able to gracefully shutdown Servers/Storage. (about 5 minutes runtime)

In my case we have 7 servers, 1 SAN, and 3 NAS's. We are looking at 5000 watts of usage.

The APC Smart-UPS RT 6000VA was recommended give about 10 minutes runtime, and an additional battery pack would added 20 more minutes. APC includes charts with their products to determine backup runtime. http://www.apc.com/CFIDE/GraphData.cfm?graphCache=wc50&graphID=Images/1810968890104105.png

Our account representatives have been helpful in determining the models for our load requirements.
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