Protecting the Goods: IT Equipment and Stormy Weather

The last month has brought tornadoes, record levels of rain, and lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! With all of the crazy weather we’ve had, you and your IT team have surely come up against the questions: is your equipment plugged into a “clean” power source? What does that even mean? What do you look for when selecting battery backup for your IT equipment?

What is “clean power?”

“Clean” electricity is electrical power that is free from voltage spikes and drops, which can occur in power outages. But why is this important? While power outages are merely inconvenient for us, the surge that occurs when the power comes back on can cause computer memory loss, program corruption, and other operating errors.

Thus, IT personnel must carefully examine the health of their electrical power systems and ensure that their electronics are protected.

What is uninterruptable power supply (UPS)?

UPS is critical for any organization. In very simple terms, a UPS is essentially a big box of batteries that are constantly being charged by the main line’s voltage. A good UPS will also have a power conditioning circuit so it can provide clean power to your equipment in the case of a black or brownout, as well as provide battery backup.

The primary purpose of a UPS is to give your enterprise a few minutes to save your work and properly shut down your computer. That being said, some use a UPS so they can work through power outages up to an hour.

How do I know the right UPS for my organization?

There are five key questions you need to answer to understand the right UPS for you:

  • How many outlets do I need? A UPS only has so many outlets, so you’ll need to think about how many devices you have plugged in and how many are essential and therefore need to be powered by the UPS. We recommend buying the number of outlets you need, plus two for flexibility.
  • How much power do your devices require? If the devices need more power than the UPS can generate, they’ll go dead, even if the battery has plenty of charge.
  • How long do you need to run on battery? Know before you purchase your UPS how you plan to use a UPS. (Will you need it minutes? Or for an hour?) To calculate how long a UPS will power your devices, add the wattage they draw and then refer to the product’s runtime graph.
  • What features do you want? Believe it or not, even basic UPS units offer many extra features. Even if you don’t think you’ll use extra features, you should understand the options available to you!
  • How good is the warranty? For a product that performs as important a function as a UPS, you will want peace of mind. Make sure you read the warranty online before buying to ensure your protection strategy is protected.

If you have additional questions about how to sure up your power sources, we recommend you consult your MSP. Don’t wait until it’s too late!