Tag Archives: APC

A little about power …

Power is probably the most important element in ensuring a stable computing experience.  Yet, commonly it is taken for granted.  In today’s modern data center, it is not uncommon to run into power limitations.  Vendor equipment is becoming more effiecient all the time.  HP even offers blade servers that allow for power capping.  These features allow cramped data centers to have even higher density.

Recently, I myself began to run into some basic power issues.  Here, I have a collection of UPS.  All from APC, they range from models about 8 years old to newer more top of the line units.  Even though my computing density is not that high, reliable power delivery is a must.  Being more so in the country adds to this.  The last several weekends, and even some weeknights, there have been localized power outages in my area.  Some only a few seconds long, to others 15 minutes or more.  One of these outages actually caused corruption on my storage array and a lost a few VM’s on XFS filesystems.  Even though XFS is error free, the files where damaged.  Moral of the story, make sure you have good UPS units.

I ended up purchasing 2 of APC’s SN1000 UPS’ from Tiger Direct.  These are currently $84CDN and are a great deal.  Originally, my older BackUPS 350 and BackUPS 750 where running the systems here.  However, as I have added more networking and storage equipment, the runtime has come down considerably.  These new units give the runtime here of about 30-40 minutes.  That is considerably longer than the 3 to 10 minutes I had before.  The SN1000 is the older model of the Sc1000.  These originally sold for over $300CDN or higher.

I plan to eBay out the old UPS’ here.  No sense keeping them.  I figure the $200CDN in high-end UPS will save me hours of rebuild time, the next time the power goes down hard.  If it can happen here, it can happen to anyone.

Don’t hit that big red button!

ups-750Today, I had one of my new APC UPS 750’s bite the dust. Power went down here for about 10 seconds, and when it came back on, one of my UPS’ did not want to continue. I have several UPS’ here, and this one would not be quiet. My other two UPS’ chirped, indicating bad line power conditions. I powered the bad one on, and after a few seconds the dreaded long tone of death happened.

The UPS happened to be supporting my ESX servers, so, it was unfortuante for it to die.  I’ve logged a case with APC, hopefully they will cross ship me a replacement.

This got me thinking of times when I’ve had real life system outages in my IT career when the UPS / generator at a site failed to come on.  That leads to the using of the old and hopefully update to date (haha!) Disaster Recovery plan to bring it back up.

Has this happened to you?  Any good UPS/data center power failure stories to share?  Is your Disaster Recovery plan accurate?  Discuss.

[UPDATE 01/23/09]: It appears I managed to get my UPS working again.  I recived a reply form APC detailing the reset procedure for the UPS.  I tried it a few times to no avail.  On my last attempt to power it on, it worked.  Very scarey!