UPS’s (APC, Cyber Power Systems, etc.)

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UPS. Battery backup. APC. They are called different things by different people, but they’re all the same thing and they all have the same function: to keep power flowing when the electricity grid goes down.

There are many different sizes when it comes to UPS battery backups. There are the typical under-desk models that provide battery power for a single computer, there are rack-mounted models that provide power to rack-mounted equipment like servers and switches, and then there are data center models that provide power to server farms and larger infrastructure.

A lot of companies that provide UPSs will rate them based on VA, or volt-amps. This is a bit of a deceiving number, since once an electrical current is converted into AC, the amount of watts available is less than the volt-amps capability of the UPS. This is due to, among other things, resistance and impedance. In other words, when purchasing a UPS battery backup, use the rated watts to choose a size that fits your needs. The higher the number of watts provided by the UPS, the longer your equipment will run without mainline electricity. For most folks, something around 600 watts will do just fine (again, depending on what you’re connecting to it).

For those of us who are in the technology field as our career, we really need to make sure we’re selecting the proper fitting UPS for our situation. UPSs can get pretty expensive when go beyond the consumer-level ones. They also get seriously heavy in weight, which is a consideration when you look at rack-mounting options.

There’s simply too much information when it comes to UPS solutions to cram into this post, but further reading can be found at:


Martin Lehner

Martin Lehner is an technology professional working for an IT services firm in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). He has been working in the technology field for over a decade. With a degree in Business Admin and numerous industry certifications, Martin leads a team of IT professionals that provide third party support for clients. Originally starting a company to offer web development services, Martin quickly realized that clients wanted the entire spectrum of technology services. When Martin is not at work (which is not often, since his company offers 24/7 support), he is busy at home spending time with his family.

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1 Comment

  1. Zachary Green June 23, 2014 at 8:51 am

    We use the APC XS 1300 at work here, now discontinued, and they’re fantastic. Had the power cut a few times in the last year and we were given enough time to save off our files and shut down the PCs properly.

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