UPS Recommendations

Some folks in the SmallBiz community were asking about recommendations on UPS’s. Here was the original post:

Since UPSes were mentioned recently, I was wondering what you all are recommending for your clients with a lower-end server. At the high end we have APC SmartUPS. Are there others that do about the same thing but are cheaper? Other brands? What about using the APC BackUPS BX 1500 VA or similar? What do you lose by not using the SmartUPS? I would like to find a cost-effective solution but I don’t want to skimp where skimping should not be done!

I summarized some of their responses below. Hope this helps!

  1. For the most part, if my company implements a server, non-rack mount case, we sell them a smart ups 750 by APC, if they are plugging multiple items in to it, we go the 1500 route, both are set at a reasonable price point.

  2. The APC Smart UPS series are speced as generator capable. It provides line interactive power capability to clean the dirty power the 5-15 k generators Provide. The lower priced APC UPSes are not generator rated. I find the competitors usually do not show any generator specs. If you do find other UPSes that are generator rated for less than one thousand US dollars, please let me know.

  3. I have to agree with the others, APC is about the only way to go. I’ve had clients that insist on saving a few dollars (and on strange stuff too), but I’ve never backed down on this point and I’ve never had to say “oops”. APC has some lower end models, but the SmartUPS line has never been a problem for me.

  4. APC pretty much rules this market, but TrippLite makes decent products as well as is much less pricey.

  5. One thing that I’d like to add: test the battery regularly. The APC SmartUPS line can be connected to the computer that it is protecting and shut it down in the event of a failure. But the real thing to watch is that the battery is tested (this can be automated in the PowerChute software that comes with the UPS) you don’t want to find out the battery is failing when you need it most. Usually a little over 2 years then you have to do something.

  6. I once installed a Belkin UPS for a client and it worked great. The only problem was that after I installed the Belkin equivalent of PowerChute, the server kept shutting down 30 seconds after login. Of course we did not discover this problem until I was off site and I logged into the server remotely. Do you have any idea what it’s like to be 10 miles away from your client and to have a message pop up on your screen letting you know that you have 30 seconds until your client gets very, very angry with you? Not fun. It’s been APC ever since. 

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