Wrap-up on UPS/battery-backup

As discussed, I get tons of power outages at my house. Not for days, not for hours, but mostly for a split-second. Juuuuuust enough to mess up all the clocks in my house and enough to shut off my servers. I would say on average, I “lose power” maybe 10 times per month, 99% of the time it’s 1 second to maybe 15 seconds. Again, very frustrating, because I have to go reset clocks everywhere. But wait, what about the computers? Well, I typically have to go restart the servers, and reboot my routers because they come up before the internet connections do, and don’t properly get an IP address. Also, the wireless access points seem to “freak out” with this sort of power outage. I reset the power (unplug, then plug back in) and they are back to normal.

You may have heard my story about early in my career, I did systems management in a big data center. On “power down weekend” which was once-per-year I think, the main vendor we used would bring in a PALLET of disk drives, because we’d lose so many (this was back in the days of 2GB drives, by the way).

So anyhow, everytime I lose power at my house and not only do I lose power abruptly, it always seems to be coupled with a spike or drag in power. I cringe and expect that one of these times I’m going to lose some drives. I already have put in a good amount of backup and redundancy, but it’s not fool-proof.

With all of that said, I got the final pieces of my UPS setup in, I got two CyberPower CPS1500AVR UPS’:


My hope was that I calculated correctly, and could sustain the servers, drives, and internet connection particularly for these outages that are for a second or a minute or two. If the power is out for longer than that, then I’d want the UPS to gently shutdown the servers. By the way, I got two smaller ones instead of one big one, because the bigger ones require a 220V connection or a custom-wired connection, believe it or not. This was one of the highest-rated UPS that could still be plugged into a regular 110V socket!

Well, one of these worked fine and the other was DOA. No lights, no sounds or anything. That is shipping back on Monday, and they are sending me a replacement. Meanwhile, so I have SOME protection, I plugged everything into the first UPS unit. Sure enough, I guess I was way off on my research and estimates. I did a few tests and here’s what the ONE UPS says, with everything plugged into it (2 rackmount Dells, 4x2TB drives, 2 switches, 2 routers, 2 cable modems, a WAP, the rack LCD/keyboard, etc):


so basically, I have around 40: minutes of backup time. So I guess I could’ve just gotten one of these things, because that’s more than enough. However, these UPS’ are relatively cheap (I got mine for around ~$169/each) so I’ll probably still keep the new one when it comes back from warrantee anyhow.

Bottom line, this was the last thing on my infrastructure radar. I now am quite pleased with my home setup, it’s simple, relatively inexpensive, relatively stable (with a fair amount of redundancy), and now with power conditioning. So unless/until something breaks, I should be good for the foreseeable future with infrastructure stuff! I now have UPS/power-conditioning for my workstation (as noted here) and now with the server environment too. Now that the infrastructure is stable and complete, I suppose I should get back to my other projects, where I actually USE these servers!

Posted in New Technology, Uncategorized

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