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Monday, 20 April 2009

UPS - Uninterruptable Power Supply

What is a UPS?

A UPS is a device connected between then mains electricity supply and your Computer Server or PC. It has two main functions:
  1. It filters the mains supply to remove spikes which can cause failures; these spikes can be a thousand volts or more and last for a brief time; it is during this spike time that real damage can be caused to electronic components.
  2. It takes over the supply of mains in the event that the mains electricity fails or worse goes into a state known as a brown out; this is where the supply falls to an unacceptably low level; it is during this time that disks can crash and data in memory is lost or corrupted.
Recently we suffered a momentary power failure at the building where my office is located. I heard a groan of complaint from other people in the building as their computers stopped working and any work was lost.

All my office equipment is connected to a UPS so all we could hear was the bleep, bleep of the warning signal telling us that the UPS was working correctly. We know that once this signal starts we have 10 minutes of usable time before then system batteries are exhausted. This allows time to complete the piece of work being carried out and shut the system sown in an orderly manner.

Are these UPS devices expensive? No, a couple of hundred pounds. Worth every penny when I hear the bleep, bleep, bleep.

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