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UPS Solution

UPS Solution

UPS Solution

I am looking for advice on how to go about designing an UPS solution for a small business.

We have a generator backup that powers the entire building. Our Datacenter draws about a total of 6600 watts (I have no idea if that is a lot or not).

My problem is that we recently had a ice storm that knocked out our city power and it was that one time that the generator did NOT pick up, therefore our everything went down. After fixing everything, I was instructed to get pricing on a UPS solution that would keep us up and running for a long period of time, management was talking 3 to 4 hours.
I do not agree with the 3 to 4 hours of "up-time", but figured I would get some pricing starting at one hour and going up to 4.

Is there a general "rule of thumb" when it comes to up-time?
Are there better ways to cover redundancy in case of generator failure the long periods of up time?
I am worried about heat when we start talking about long periods of run time without our data center air conditioner running.

Where do I start with this?

Any guidenace would be helpfull....

RE: UPS Solution

As mentioned before on other posts, many of the UPS manufacturers have configurators online where you can put in the power draw and input your uptime, redundancy, and expansion requirements, and it will spit out a solution for you. As an example, I put your numbers in at APC's website and was offered 3 solutions based on their Symmetra product line. This gives you a rough idea pricing wise since you really need to talk to the manufacturer or a qualified reseller since your solution will not be a cut and dry simple one.

As far as the amount of uptime, this is a matter of preference since there are many variables involved (i.e.. is there a e-commerce server that is performing financial transactions, do the servers take X amount of time to shutdown, etc...)

Your backup generator, in my opinion, should be where your attention should focus on for extended amounts of run-time.
You can implement all the technology and spend all the money in the world and still never will able to guarantee 100% uptime or 100% problem free.

RE: UPS Solution

Thanks, I have used APC's website, but I just feel that the amount of run time we are talking about is a little much. You can add bigger ups's and more batteries, but you are just driving cost up. I am guessing it is going to hit a point where a second generator would be more cost effective....

Thanks, I will take a look again at other posts, but I was not finding much on "recommeneded" uptime. I know and understand that is really has a lot of factors involved, but I was just curious if there was a "rule of thumb" that we could start on search using.

Thanks again.

RE: UPS Solution

With my servers (a school environment, so I'm not looking for 24x7 operation), I try for about 30 minutes to an hour. My business department's server on the better side of the hour, can't hold up payroll, can we ;>) My phone system on the other hand, when I move to a pure IP telephony system next year, I will try to push an hour or better (money being the determining factor of course) and hopefully I can budget for a generator next year myself.

RE: UPS Solution

6,6 Kw isn't that much.

One thing I would plan for is how to keep your IP network running to support your IP-phones.
To make a stable UPS supply for that can be an interesting project.

I had a project less then 12 months ago where I couldn't implement 2 generators because there was only space for 1.

The implementation ended up with using one 400KVA generator and 2x 160KVA UPS's

The generator can support all power used in the building and is has diesel for at least 72 hours full load.
All IT stuff is protected by the UPS's so all IT power outlets are on the UPS's all over the building.
Everything else just goes out when there is a power loss for the time it takes for the generator to kick in.

The central UPS's can support all IT stuff, including cooling and everything else for the Datacenter for at least 45 min. This is to have time to start the generator manually if it doesn't kick in as planned.

In my planning I came to a very simple situatione because management wanted to have a solution to support the datacenter and nothing else.
I asked them about some basic information like:
What do you need to run your business for 4 hours.
What do you need to run your business for 3 days.

I got some limited answers to be honest, so I started to ask stuff like.
Can you live with that all PC's and network stuff goes down for 3 min and need 10 min or more to get up and running again? Answer was NO
Can you operate your business without light in the building. Answer again was NO.
Can you operate your business for more then 4 hours with the kitchens. Again the answer was NO.

So in the end they got the solution I wanted and they needed.

My message is: Most people tend to implement solutions for the datacenter but forget everything else.

Why keep the datacenter running if all the importend stuff you have running is for internal use when the users don't have power.

A central solution is what in most situations will give you the lowest TCO, but it cost to implement.

Where I work now we also only have UPS and generator for the datacenter operations so almost no one will be able to work if we loose power.
But on the other hand, most of the computers we have in the datacenters are for external users.


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