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UPS recommendations

Discussion in 'Servers and Enterprise Solutions' started by Appleby, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. Appleby

    Gangster

    Joined: Jul 23, 2011

    Posts: 156

    So I've had a few instances recently with power loss and my servers aren't really happy about it. No data loss or permanent damage but I would like to protect against it in future and allow for a graceful shut down. So I'm looking for recommendations for a UPS. It needs to fit in my rack so rack mountable is a preference and it doesn't need to have a huge capacity (servers probably draw 5/600w between them at full load).

    Lastly with all these things I am on a budget, I've been looking at a few reconditioned APC units on online auction sites but I have seen some horror stories with their batteries and seeing as though this is to live in my house I would rather have something I can trust. So for a budget of around £200 what would you suggest?
     
  2. smargh

    Associate

    Joined: Dec 29, 2010

    Posts: 74

    In general, the older SUA series units work perfectly well. A "ups trader" on a certain auction site sells quality compatible cells - I use them for all my new batteries, and they also sell reconditioned units. However, it's generally much cheaper to wait for an auction to appear within collection distance, because in my experience the private home sellers often package them very badly.

    600 watts seems a bit high for a home setup. If it is 600 watts, then perhaps an SUA1500 would be fine for a very quick shutdown, or an SUA2200 might be worth considering for higher loads. Or, alternatively, get two cheaper lower-rated UPSes.

    Personally, I use an SURT1000XLI and SUA750XLI with an AP7721 transfer switch, all bought from auction - £40 (poorly labelled bargain), £37 and £99 (new) respectively, all including delivery. If you waited long enough you could get all three for under £200, or just a single higher-rated UPS for a lot less than £100.

    I bought an almost-new SMX series via auction recently. I RMAd it with APC because it was making a rather annoying buzzing noise. The replacement had a much quieter buzzing noise, but I still found it annoying in a quiet room. They agreed to send an SURT as a replacement. So, APC's RMA process is rather good.

    All UPS batteries die eventually. 3 to 5 years is about average - the warmer the environment, the faster they will degrade. A cheap second-hand UPS with bulging batteries probably just needs new cells and you'll end up with a quality UPS with fresh batteries.

    Don't forget to mount them at the bottom of racks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
  3. jameshurrell

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 1, 2013

    Posts: 179

    Agreed. The RMA process is very good. See my thread here about an issue with an APC SMT1500. After the fault message on the LCD was reported to them, they didn't ask anymore questions - replacement was sent out next day and they organised to courier away the faulty unit once the new one was in situ. Haven't had a single issue since.
     
  4. easyrider

    Caporegime

    Joined: Dec 24, 2005

    Posts: 39,332

    Location: Autonomy

    Ihave an SUA1000I and have just replaced the batteries in it for 40 quid.
     
  5. rotor

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 18, 2012

    Posts: 2,165

    Slightly over £200, but I'm incredibly happy with my CyberPower PR750ELCD.
     
  6. jameshurrell

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 1, 2013

    Posts: 179

    What's the monitoring software like on the CyberPowers? I've been looking at them for some time...
     
  7. Caged

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 23,651

    I really like Eaton (ex. Powerware) for UPSes. Very tough units and decent software.
     
  8. mejinks

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 28, 2002

    Posts: 4,971

    Location: Port Toilet

    I used to really rate APC, but recently, their qc must be done by a chimp. I had one literally blow up while I was in a comms room the day before yesterday and the one it replaced quite literally melted.

    Saying that, I have a SUA1500 at home and its flawless.
     
  9. rotor

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 18, 2012

    Posts: 2,165

    I have only played with it for a few minutes, but it seems pretty good. They give you lots of options (Windows, Linux, VM appliance), and the setup allows lots of flexibility for alerts and actions based on different criteria. Setting up the VM appliance was very easy.
     
  10. arfoll

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 25, 2011

    Posts: 1,319

    I was tempted to try the FSP ones but further looking into drivers has me doubting that choice... I was thinking of APC since they are quite rated and have good linux support... what mejinks says is pretty worrying though tbh!
     
  11. Appleby

    Gangster

    Joined: Jul 23, 2011

    Posts: 156

    Thanks for all your great responses so far, very useful for a subject I know relativly little about! I have seen the refurbished APC units on auction sites and have been pretty tempted. I doubt I'm anywhere near 600w most of the time, the main machine I care about is a NAS/SAN with a 40w Xeon and a stack of hard drives (not yet but will be 21 drives soon).

    How loud are the APC units? I see they mostly have cooling fans but this will live in a spare room next to a bedroom so noise is also an important factor.
     
  12. mejinks

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 28, 2002

    Posts: 4,971

    Location: Port Toilet

    The loudest thing on my SUA is when it does a self test and you hear the inverter kick in. It makes a very light buzzing sound, but its almost imperceptible unless you are sleeping on top of it.
     
  13. smargh

    Associate

    Joined: Dec 29, 2010

    Posts: 74

    APC recommends 50% max load, and with 21 HDDs the inrush current (I think it's called) could be of interest, so I'd definitely try to not go above 50%.

    Newer SMT/SMX series above 750va do have a fan which kicks in when running from battery or charging. Some people have mentioned a fan on all the time, but there was definitely no persistent fan when I had my SMX750. I have an SUA750 (not rackmount) with no fan at all, but the 1500 and above does have a non-intrusive fan when charging or running from battery. I'd expect the beefier models to definitely have a permanent fan.

    The newer APC stuff (SMT/SMX) does use the proprietary "Microlink" protocol, which linux apcupsd doesn't support. So, stick with SUA - they work perfectly well, though perhaps are not as energy-efficient as the newer models. However, feel free to go for the newer ones if you spot an auction bargain.
     
  14. bigredshark

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Jun 30, 2005

    Posts: 9,516

    Location: London Town!

    +1 there from me. Eaton stuff is pretty robust and pricing is reasonable, they're a serious vendor too, we've used some of their 3 phase units in smaller support sites and POPs recently (I say small, we're talking 15-20 racks - large is 4000 racks in my world these days...)
     
  15. Appleby

    Gangster

    Joined: Jul 23, 2011

    Posts: 156

    right I think I've found a suitable candidate. An APC Smart-UPS 1000VA so SUA series 640w, new batteries. Looks to tick all the boxes. The only thing is it doesn't come with rack mount ears/rails. Is there anywhere good to source these?
     
  16. Caged

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 23,651

  17. Appleby

    Gangster

    Joined: Jul 23, 2011

    Posts: 156

    Ha, so your first link they are based around 5 mins from my house, the second link is about 5 mins from my parents house. I'll have a nose around. I'll come back when I'm all sorted. Cheers for the help so far!