When you have a server, it's strongly recommended to protect it against power cuts to prevent it from being cut suddenly.
You also have the option of protecting your server and its devices (if applicable) against power surges. Which is handy when a storm is coming near your company.
An UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) mainly protects a server, a computer, as well as its devices (if necessary) against power cuts and overvoltages.
Of course, depending on the inverter you buy, you can be more or less protected against a particular electrical fault :
The most well-known power problem is of course the power cut that happens suddenly and unpredictably.
When a power outage occurs, your server shuts down abruptly.
Which can lead to :
This may therefore prevent your server from continuing to function properly.
In addition, in business, it can also cost a lot of money depending on the duration of this power outage.
Indeed, according to the APC brand (belonging to Schneider Electric), for Fortune 1000 companies, it can cost :
Thanks to an UPS, your server will continue to be powered by the batteries of your UPS.
In the event of a micro power cut, your UPS will use its battery or simply adjust the voltage (without using its battery) depending on the type of UPS used.
When the voltage of your electrical network varies, this can cause instability or even a shutdown (or a sudden restart) of your server if the voltage is too low.
Otherwise, when the voltage becomes too high, it can physically damage your hardware.
For APC brand UPS, your server can be protected against these voltage variations thanks to the "Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR)".
When the voltage of your electrical network becomes too low, an inverter can raise the voltage (to 230V in general) using or not using its battery depending on the type of inverter used.
For more information, refer to section "5. What technology do you need ?" of this article.
When the electrical network is of poor quality and/or when a thunderstorm arrives near your business (or near your home), power surges can occur.
This can damage your hardware more quickly.
Given that a server is usually on 24/7, it will inevitably be subject to this kind of inconvenience one day or another.
To extend the life of your components, the use of an UPS will allow you to protect your server against overvoltages by lowering the voltage to the nominal voltage (230V).
For this, the UPS will use or not its battery. This again depends on the type of inverter used.
If you absolutely need stability to protect a critical server in your business, you can use an On-Line UPS to also correct all the imperfections of the electrical network :
For more information on the various power issues that can occur, see APC's "The Seven Types of Power Problems" document.
Thanks to an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), you can protect a server against power failures, overvoltages, ...
But, you can also protect any other electronic equipment connected to the mains :
In addition, although you can protect any electronic device connected to a mains socket, you can also protect yourself from power surges that may occur on your network cables (RJ45) or on the telephone cable (RJ11) depending on the model of your selected UPS.
Indeed, if the modem is not protected by your UPS, if lightning falls on a telephone pole, an overvoltage could spread via the telephone cable (RJ11), then via the RJ45 cable connecting your server to this modem.
Before choosing an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), it's important to choose one whose power will be higher (ideally between 20% and 25% higher) than the power you need.
If you look at the characteristics of different UPS, you will see that you are told about power in watts (W), but also in volt-amperes (VA).
Warning : the value in watts (W) and that in volt-ampere (VA) can be very different for computers and UPS. This is called the power factor.
However, the value in VA is always greater than or equal to that in watts (W).
Important : none of these values must be exceeded, otherwise the UPS will be overloaded and therefore can't ensure the safety of your server, computer or any other electronic equipment connected to it.
If you don't know how much your hardware consumes, you can easily find out by using a smart plug.
Indeed, thanks to a smart plug, you will be able to know in real time the consumption of your server and its equipment (routers, ...) depending on what you plug into the connected socket.
Thus, you will see in real time the intensity (in Amps), the power (in Watts), the voltage (in Volts) and perhaps also your total consumption (in KWh).
In our case, we have several electronic devices that we use to carry out our tutorials :
After testing different scenarios, we found that all of this could consume a maximum of 380 Watts (in our case).
We were thus able to choose an inverter supporting this power actually used.
Once you know the power required by your electronic equipment, you can choose an UPS to provide the necessary power.
Or more precisely, 20% to 25% more power than needed.
The last thing to know is the autonomy you need when a power outage occurs.
Indeed, the time required will depend on whether you wish to :
Of course, the higher the load (power consumption), the more the range will be reduced.
It can therefore also be interesting to choose an UPS that can provide more power than you need to benefit from greater autonomy.
In our case, we have chosen the "APC Back-UPS Pro 1500, 230 V, CEE 7/5 (BR1500G-FR)" UPS which can provide a power of 865 W or 1500 VA.
Assuming that we consume all of the supported power (which is not recommended), the autonomy would be around 4 minutes for this model.
On the other hand, given that in our case we know that the power consumed will be a maximum of 380 W, we will be able to have an autonomy of approximately 15 minutes for this model.
Which is enough to continue working if the power cut is short or to have time to shut down our virtual machines in the right order (if necessary) depending on the case.
To overcome the various power supply problems that may arise on the electrical network, there are different technologies :
Notes : voltage regulation (whether under voltage or over voltage) is called "Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR)" at APC
As you will understand :
In our case, we bought an In-Line UPS (Line-Interactive), because it protects a server used only for the production of our tutorials.
So, there is no really critical data or application on it. Nevertheless, it protects him enough for the usefulness we have of it.
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