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Remotely managed UPS to clean power?

Remotely managed UPS to clean power?

Remotely managed UPS to clean power?

Hello, all. I'm looking for an UPS model for our desktops. We have 50+ stations and power problems int his building. Every Monday, I come in to find workstations stuck at bootup after, what appears to be, a power outage of some sort. Our lights dim throughout the week and I have not the experience necessary to even attempt to elaborate beyond that. May I have a few recommendations of suitable UPS models for our needs? Based on what I've found through Google, I think we need something to clean the power up and provide a few minutes of battery backup to carry us through the outages/surges/whatever this problem is.
I've read about Stage 1 power filtering, etc. but I don't really understand it enough to select an UPS on my own. As long as we're going to spend the money, if we do in fact choose to do so, then I would like to be able to monitor the power use of each station by the time of day. So if something is using power in the evening and they aren't a VPN user, I may configure them to shut down in the evening. I would also like to be able to adjust one station and compare it to one I haven't touched. I don't expect to be able to make many adjustments through the UPS software interface. I plan to do that through the server group policy.

Each UPS will need to support the following equipment:
Battery backup - CPU running a Core i7 w/DVD burner, and one 22" monitor.
Non-battery backup - Laser desktop printer, an additional 22" monitor, a ScanSnap S1500 document scanner, speakers, iPad/iPhone charger, laptop charger, two network cables (one with with power-over-ethernet), and a label printer.

Budget: We're trying to stay as close to $100 ea. I can consider surpassing that but that's where we stand at the moment.

Thank you in advance!!
Replies continue below

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RE: Remotely managed UPS to clean power?

You can probably go to APC's website and plug in that info to give you a UPS VA rating on your needs; probably a 750VA Back-UPS for the money I would assume, but it's kind of suspicious that you have multiple workstations doing this every Monday in regards to getting stuck at boot up. Just for testing purposes, I would take a few of these units and unplug all extra USB connected devices for the weekend(minus mouse and keyboard) and see if it's one of the printers or scanner causing this. I have seen USB printers do this and if that's your problem and you buy UPS(s) and not plug in those peripherals to battery backed power, then you will still have the issue. I am not recommending you plug the printers into the battery backed side of the UPS, I'm just saying you might want to test this out a few times before you spend the money.

RE: Remotely managed UPS to clean power?

Getting stuck at bootup isnt really the problem. Plenty of things can cause that, I just want to take care of the power issue before we have to start spending money on replacing hardware. (I'm the SysAdmin.) It happens to all of our equipment. TV's, audio systems, etc...we're having power problems all over this building. We moved form our old office about a year ago and this was never a problem over there. The building manager tells me that the power company is always out working on the grid, so we have these power drops over the weekend. This is mostly new development & something power-related got hosed when they built it. Poor planning.

RE: Remotely managed UPS to clean power?

Oh, and I tried the APC system you mentioned. I was hoping to find something more affordable. My needs are somewhat basic but it happens to only fit with their more expensive systems.  

RE: Remotely managed UPS to clean power?

There are for sure others out there other than APC. I was giving you a VA rating that probably was going to meet your needs and I know I can get those units for about $100.00/each. Other manufacturers like Tripp-Lite, CyberPower, etc... will have simular offerings, but they won't be so diseparatly priced based on their VA ratings and that what you really need to riddle out. You gave me an i7 computer and 22" LCD as the only information for being battery backed, but that does not tell me how big your power supply is in your system, so I made an assumption. You might be able to get away with a smaller 650VA (about 380Watts) range UPS if your power supply is a smaller Wattage, which in turn will put you into those manufacturers units that tend to run around $85.00(MSRP).

RE: Remotely managed UPS to clean power?

I see what you're saying. Do you know anything about the power management side? One brand over the other with regard to remote monitoring capability?

RE: Remotely managed UPS to clean power?

Oh, what about the whole Stage 1 thing...does it sound liek I need to "clean" our power or something?

RE: Remotely managed UPS to clean power?

You tend to see this more in the audio/video world to help produce clean sound and while I know your standard UPS will protect against EMI, I can't say 100% about RF unless the UPS supports sinewave technology. Those that support sincewave, tend to be a bit on the pricey side.

Another thought would be to see about having your power company check for proper grounding and if there is anything they can implement to help with EMI/RF. I know from a residential standpoint, APC has a product that protects at the panel level to the whole house. http://www.apc.com/products/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=PMP1X%2DA&tab=features
There might be something that the power company can implement that scales to that of a commercial business that has that same functionality.

RE: Remotely managed UPS to clean power?

I agree with cajuntank - you need to talk to your power company, and work with them to take measures to provide cleaner, more reliable power to your location. It's likely that you're not their only customer experiencing this problem.
You mention that your lights dim throughout the week. It may be possible that there are damaged busses in your main distribution panel. You may need to call a commercial electrician to check things out and work with the power company.  Back in the days of dialup, a problem developed at home where I got a big hum in the phones whenever I plugged my modem into the phone line. The Modem was connected to the PC which had a 3-wire power connection. I solved the problem by getting a modem with optical isolation to the phone line. There were other power issues (we are in a mobilehome park) and it turned out later the ground bus in the main panel for the park was burned. Thus there was a voltage drop in the ground conection for the whole park, which made power company ground several volts different from Telco ground.
Commercial electricians have devices which can record the amount, time and duration of voltage drops and surges, to help isolate problems.

Fred Wagner


RE: Remotely managed UPS to clean power?

Just a thought - are there elevators or escalators in your building?  In one of my previous jobs, we had a showroom in a building with escalators, and I had a PC setup there that I remotely managed from the factory. I had a high quality surge protector on the PC setup. There were escalator problems, and one day there was a huge surge. It destroyed our FAX machine, and the insides of our surge protector turned to charcoal, but with a new surge protector, our PC setup was OK. Your surge protectors could be 'wearing out' their components protecting you from your current situation. If you're renting space in the building, you may want to have your attorney talk to your landlord, there may be some liability issues regarding providing a safe commercial environment.

Fred Wagner


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