UPS’s are not created equal

On December 26, 2009, in news, by

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 Responses to UPS’s are not created equal

  1. Rick says:

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

  2. bradley says:

    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 says:

    So why was the smart-ups better?

  4. jmackercher says:

    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 says:

    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. Alan says:

    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. Tony says:

    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 says:

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

  9. Joe Raby says:

    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. Andy Parkes says:

    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!