Which UPS to purchase for Home rack (lab)

I have 4 servers (3x2012R2 Hyper-V hosts and 1x2012R server acting as a SMB3 SAN with 17 SATA drives), and some communications equipment (but I am more concerned with the servers suddenly shutting off during a power loss).

I would like a rack-mountable, Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to keep the servers up.  Keep them up long enough that the (hopefully included software -like Power Chute?) would shutdown the Hyper-V Guests and then the Hosts.

Can I get something of this nature for around $300?  Which model do you recommend?
Thank you!
K BAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
$300 ? No, I do not think so. A decent APC rack mount for that will be $1,500 to $2,000. It will come with Power Chute, but the version I have does not handle virtual machines. There is probably a version that does. Scale up your dollars and then we can post realistic suggestions.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I see a 1,000 watt unit for $550, a 1,500 watt unit for $1,250 and a 3,000 watt unit for $1,925 (more likely this is what you should use for 4 servers plus NAS with many drives).

5 x 400 watts is 2,000 watts minimum.

K BAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your reply John.
It has been a while since I have set up PowerChute.  Is only one RS-232 (or USB) cable needed to shutdown all the servers? I suppose it interacts with the PowerChute software (on one server) and then the software takes over from there all communication (to all the servers)?
My servers only have 500-watt power supplies and hardly draw much of that power.  I suppose the under-supply of wattage could be dangerous to the equipment in the event of a power outage?
I have 3 servers and 1 2012 SAN.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Power Chute with one RS-232 will only shutdown 1 host. You would need a script to shut down everything else from the one controlled machine.

I think you need the bigger unit for these servers.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I prefer to use an APC Smart-UPS with a Network Management Card, and then you can use the new FREE PowerChute Network Management software for free for Hyper-V.

      PowerChute Network Shutdown v4.1 for Windows x64

and make sure you have a network management card....


The biggest issue I have is with your $300 budget, because the management card, costs approx $300!

I'm not sure you'll get a rackmount UPS for $300, a UPS you are likely to get is a cheap UPS, with a serial or UPS connection!

I think you need to be realistic with your budget, $300 is what most single PC owners would spend, which do not have a lab and Hyper-V and SAN!

Work out what the Total BTU or Wattage is, and then workout, how much runtime you require, e.g. 10 minutes or 20 minutes, and what is enough time to shutdown all your kit before battery runs out!

and you will be surprised how long things take to shutdown, before you can remove power.....
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
So then if you are considering Andrew's thought (good idea), then your budget needs to be $2,000 or somewhat more.
K BAuthor Commented:
Wow guys okay so that is really out of reach for me.  The alternative is to let my servers just drop - sounds like that is my only option.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You are between a rock and an hard place. I have an APC 750 Watt Floor UPS - not rack and it holds up my computer (not server) and network gear.

Perhaps save up some money to buy what you need. Letting servers drop for power loss is not a good idea and several times could easily damage the hardware or corrupt drives.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
We actually have now switched from APC to Eaton.....(because since APC were acquired by Schneider, they been behind the curve!) , still good kit, but no longer meets our requirements!

in fact if you look in this picture here....


This was our new UPS delivered!!!! (in the box I'm sitting on!)
K BAuthor Commented:
That's a HUGE device! LOL!

What do you think the minimum wattage I can get away with for these 4 boxes?  

All 4 boxes have dual xeon procs, 1 dual port 10GB NIC & 2 SSD OS drives.  While 1 of the 4 boxes also has 16 more drives.
I would suppose if I was going to use a script (the cheaper solution) and let the UPS only interact with the one server (with the script) I would also need my switch on the UPS too.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
send me the wattage of ALL power supplies, and runtime required, and I'll drop it in my spreadsheet!

Yes, that UPS, is a 12kVA (12,000 watts). It weighed in at approx 560kg!

It runs our small datacentre, which uses on average 3,000 watts, and that has a runtime of 40+40mins! because the UPS is a Clustered UPS N+1 redundant UPS!
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@K B - remember that a UPS running at maximum load will have minimum run time (probably < 15 minutes) and will wear out batteries faster (which are the pricey component inside a UPS).

You can look at individual less expensive brownout protection devices without batteries but these are not UPS units and will not protect against an actual outage.
K BAuthor Commented:
I need perhaps 3-5 minutes of uptime maximum. This is just to get my equipment shut down so I won't have sudden drops. I have one 500 W and three 750 W power supplies. In retrospect, I purchased them incorrectly as I  did not need near that amount.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Do you have a power meter, to record the actual values being consumed ?

Because worst case, at 500 watt, and 3 x 750 watt, this would require, approx 5,000 watt UPS, and your runtime would be approx 7 mins!

and that will cost more than $300!
K BAuthor Commented:
I don't have a power meter unfortunately.  yikes to 5,000 watt
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I have several power meters in the basement but they are old and hard come by. New ones are expensive unfortunately.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Worst case, that's why I said, a measure requirement. will save you cash, as you may not be consuming 2750 watts per hour!
K BAuthor Commented:
I will pick up a meter first thing in the morning.
Looks as this is about $30.


It appears to be a good thing to have around anyway.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
That will do it....

Then measure you actual usage, now be careful because if you work on actual usage, and purchase a UPS, which is e.g. 1000 watts, you  an easily overload them!

if you servers start to use more power, rated up to the PSU installed!
K BAuthor Commented:
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Depending on your actual load, the 2200 Watt unit shown should work just fine given your equipment description. Make sure the seller warrants the unit to work on delivery and provides a short warranty.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, APC 2200 are fine, we've just thrown skips loads away, just be warned do not overload it!

If you overload it, it will beep like mad, and if on load, it will drop load ASAP! e.g. no power, so no time to shutdown, so I would recommend, connecting 1 PSU to AC, and 1 PSU to UPS, if you are short on load, that way you will be protected, and enough time to shutdown, grab the UPS Network 2 interface card as well....and use the free software.

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K BAuthor Commented:
John, warranty is 1 year.
Andrew, it comes with the network card and I will indeed use the free software.

You both are simply invaluable!
Thank you so much!!
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
K B - You are very welcome and I was happy to help.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
with a 1 year warranty, test and calibrate on day 1, and on day 350!

although any warranty with a battery involved often excludes the battery!
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