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It’s just a big battery isn’t it?

So often, we hear that as people’s perception of what a UPS is. Well, an Uninterruptable Power Supply is indeed a battery – but ‘just’ a battery does it some disservice. (and by the way, were not talking about big brown parcel delivery vans here either)

Not only is it a battery, but it’s also an insurance policy, it is protection for your business, it is protection against a loss of time and money.

If you have a power cut and your critical business machines such as servers, network attached storage or even some crucial PC’s are compromised as a result of this – you will experience some down time trying to correct the damage done by an ungraceful shutdown. Databases such as SQL or even flat file do not like a forced shut down and you may need to restore those files from your last good backup. So you lose the work you have done since the last backup and the time it takes to restore it. Forced and unexpected downtime is bad for productivity in any line of work.

Installing a UPS means that in the event of a power cut, your connected machines continue to run for a short period and after a pre-defined period of time will initiate a graceful shut down. Disaster averted. Once the power comes back on again, you just boot up machines again and continue where you left off.

But the protection is not just limited to these moments either. Power surges can also be damaging to your hardware – your UPS will protect against this as when connected to this kind of unit, you are actually running off the battery, which is constantly being charged and providing clean filtered power to your equipment.

Less well known is the phenomena of a ‘brownout’. You know that kind of moment where the lights flicker briefly and then all is seemingly back to normal – leaving some machines power cycling and others seemingly un-touched and then we all swiftly move on. This could also lead to unexpected data loss, or even a surge when the power resumes – step in again the UPS.

So I think you are probably now getting the measure of what a UPS Backup can do for you, it provides an extra level of resilience which helps to make your company more robust. When making a business case for this; it’s a no brainer surely?

Paul Cox – IT Director