UPS’s are not created equal

I found that out personally when buying APC 1500 UPS’s that look like this — and found out the hard way that it would not keep the server up.  So then we purchased the SMART-UPS, also rated 1500 and that model would keep the server up.  

Mind you the normal 1500’s were good enough to keep the old server up, but I had to get the SMART-UPS to support the new server.

So keep in mind all UPS’s are not alike and spec accordingly.


10 Thoughts on “UPS’s are not created equal

  1. Kind of begs further information, doesn’t it? Because that in itself doesn’t really make sense unless the Back-UPS was defective.

  2. Wasn’t defective as we had two identical units that worked just fine with another computer/server. But would not keep the new server up.

  3. curious on December 27, 2009 at 7:26 am said:

    So why was the smart-ups better?

  4. jmackercher on December 27, 2009 at 8:44 am said:

    This is becoming an issue as more computers are using high-efficiency power supplies which are not always compatible with battery backups which do not generate a pure sine wave output. The APC Back-UPS RS uses a pseudo-sine wave (or stepped sine wave) output which is ok for many power supplies in electronics, but as “green” technology becomes more common, they need a true sine wave output (such as the Smart-UPS produces) or they may become unstable.

    I now always make sure a UPS for a server (or high-end PC) has a UPS with a pure sine wave output.

  5. Peter Perry on December 27, 2009 at 8:46 am said:

    Also, APC no longer includes the PowerChute Business Edition Deluxe management software, just a node agent license for Smart-UPS’. You have to purchase PowerChute separately to manage the UPS.

  6. Possibly because the Smart-UPS 1500VA is rated for 980W output, while the Back-UPS 1500VA is rated for 865W. Also the Smart-UPS has a cleaner output (less distortion), so maybe the power supply in the new server is more sensitive. On the other hand, if it’s the wattage limit and I was that close, I think I’d try to spring for an even bigger unit. Smart-UPS software does report how much power the box is really consuming so you can determine if you’re close to the edge.

    But the bigger reason I go with Smart-UPS is that they can be centrally managed with APC’s Business software. As far as I know, Back-UPS software only runs stand-alone.

  7. So no one comments on the fact that Sears is where it seems Susie bought the UPS? When I think of Sears, I think of stoves and dishwashers…not computer equipment.

  8. bradley on December 28, 2009 at 3:22 pm said:

    It was the first image hit, not where I bought it 🙂

  9. Joe Raby on December 29, 2009 at 8:51 am said:

    I find them to be very competitive with features and price. They’re also rack-mountable if you have that need.

    I currently have a dual-CPU Xeon X5550 quad-core server with 3x SAS 10K RPM drive with hardware RAID 5 hooked up to one of the SC1000’s along with my cable modem, router, and 16-port network switch, and it gives me an estimated 45 minutes on battery, which I think is pretty good.

    Remember to switch your batteries on UPS’s. Average shelf-life/run-life for a battery is only about 1x-2x the length of the warranty on the UPS unit itself. Whenever you upgrade systems to something better, consider using APC’s Trade-UPS program to trade in your old UPS (can be any brand) to get something new, with a brand new battery. They’ll do the costly recycling for you, and give you credit towards something new.

  10. Just on the sine wave bit someone mentioned above

    We had a problem with a HP ML350 G5. See this post

    Just noticed the image is missing on the page though – will see if i can dig it out!

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