Power Conditioning

Some things don’t change a great deal. For years the recommendation has always been to use Uninterruptable Power Supplies (UPS) on any computer or equipment that you don’t want to go down during a power outage.

American Power Conversion is a recommended brand, with reasonable prices. The batteries for these will usually last three or more years. They come with software to connect to a computer, which interfaces nicely with the computer operating system (Windows, Mac, or Linux), and will gracefully shut the computer down before the battery gives out. At a miminum, you need one UPS for any network server. Ideally, it should be large enough to protect the server, and any attached routers and hubs, or Cable/DSL modems so that the network infrastructure will be protected during a power outage of several minutes. The unit will also provide surge protection, and protection against brief interruptions in power, that would otherwise cause a computer to crash or reboot. Not incidentally, it will also help to protect against a lightning strike.

I just replaced my unit after three years with a new APC 750 for $275.00 US. This covers the server, a cable modem, two hubs, my router/firewall, and my wireless hub.

Workstations should also be protected by a UPS if there is any history of flakey power in your building. Then, if the power flickers, you can continue merrily on your way, while you listen to the anguished cries of your co-workers who lost their unsaved documents.

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