Votes: 0Posted On: Apr 07, 2017 09:59:22
The most vital part of all electrically operated building is the power supply system.
In Data Centers, electricity must be supplied to all electrical components around the clock with utmost reliability. Any power failure or outage can result into data loss and interruption of operations which directly impacts on economic damage for the data center.
In the following article, I am going to highlight the importance of UPS in running a Data Center successfully.
What is UPS?
UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) is an electrical storage device that provides temporary electrical power in case of a power failure. The UPS systems are used from desktop computers to a large Data Center, providing adequate power solutions. It is essential to deploy the Data Center with a reliable UPS system as electrical power is not stable and various electrical anomalies can interrupt a server operation. The UPS comprises of an electrical storage unit such as a battery or a flywheel. A UPS is integrated with the power system in such a way that when the main supply is active, UPS is on standby mode and charges its battery. As soon as the main power supply is interrupted, the UPS takes over the supply mode and becomes the primary source of power. This way the power over all the devices and equipment run seamlessly.
The need for UPS Protection
As we all know that data centers contain multiple numbers of servers with heaps of data. These servers undergo data processing at a constant rate. What if the power supply was to fail even for a minute? All the processing in the server would shut down immediately. None of the data would be saved and you would lose a large amount of data. Also, the users that are accessing the server remotely would lose access which would not be good for business. Not only power loss, there are other menaces too that can disrupt the server operation and cause damage to the electrical equipment. Some of these are discussed in brief.
Frequency Variation - An anomaly in which the electrical power is carried at an irregular frequency. This causes damage to the equipment as they are designed to operate on a particular frequency
Waveform Distortion - The waveform of the electrical power is sometimes out of its place which can cause the electric equipment to go out of sync.
Sags - The shortening of wavelength that causes low voltage disturbances. It can be caused due to equipment start-up, lightning or equipment failure.
Surge - An electric surge is the opposite of Sag. It causes a high voltage condition.
All these electrical disturbances can degrade the performance of a system. The UPS not only provides backup power in case of power failure but also protects the servers from these types of fluctuations.
Important Note: The UPS systems cannot provide you electrical support for a substantial amount of time. These are designed just to buy you some time before you can switch to a backup power supply or save your data.
Choosing a UPS wisely
Selecting the UPS appropriately for your environment helps you in reducing the costs as well as improving the productivity. There are, essentially three kinds of UPS models.
Standby UPS (Offline): It is the simplest type of UPS systems. The standby UPS is offline until the main supply is disconnected. It does not provide protection from electrical disturbances like surges. These are practically limited to desktop systems.
Line Interactive: In contrast to the standby UPS, the Line Interactive UPS is active even while the main power supply is connected. With the help of an inductor, it helps in filtering out the electrical disturbances. It helps reduce the transient events when switching from main power to battery power.
Double Conversion UPS (Online): This type of UPS systems provide the highest level of protection due to its double conversion process. It converts all incoming AC power to DC. Some of the DC power is supplied to the battery for charging and the rest is converted back to AC power. Due to this double conversion, no amount of electricity is incident directly on the server which provides full protection to the equipment. In big corporate data centers where a lot of expensive equipment is installed this is the most trusted form of UPS systems.
Essentially, the main function of a UPS system is to reduce the downtime of a server by eliminating sudden shutdowns. Also, UPS systems are expected to protect the equipment from sudden electrical disturbances. Selection of the right UPS system for your data center is very critical if you want to reduce your cost substantially by protecting your equipment as well as improving your services.