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Standard User thomaswarne01
(member) Fri 31-Jan-20 23:32:46
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UPS Backup Power


[link to this post]
 
Opinions on Network Equipment and UPS Backup for the appliances
When installing network equipment is it user requirements, best practice or common practice to instigate the use of a UPS to cope with short term power outage eg 1-20mins,
I know their are many variables to this subject such as power outage frequencies or reliability of power but personally I have UPS on my Router, Switch and POE AP but I feel that if I recommend to family to invest in a UPS it is just another device to go wrong.
Any thoughts?

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Standard User Michael_Chare
(fountain of knowledge) Sun 02-Feb-20 12:16:51
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Re: UPS Backup Power


[re: thomaswarne01] [link to this post]
 
The power cuts where I live generally last a couple of hours.

I have not had a problem with routers loosing power.

There is also the problem of powering whatever devices use the internet connection.

A mobile phone will usually work during a power cut.

UPS batteries generally need to be replaced every few years.

Michael Chare
Standard User ian72
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 03-Feb-20 08:07:58
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Re: UPS Backup Power


[re: thomaswarne01] [link to this post]
 
We don't very often have power cuts and when we do we can live without the Internet (and can usually use mobiles). For most people an occasional outage isn't worth the hassle and investment.


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Standard User Adduxi
(newbie) Mon 03-Feb-20 11:17:39
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Re: UPS Backup Power


[re: thomaswarne01] [link to this post]
 
I have a small APC UPS on my kit and find it handy. It's over 7 years old now and the batteries are still showing as good. It also cleans the mains and emails me when I get "brown outs" which occur a few times a year on our supply. Personally I get good use from it, and would replace it if it ever stopped working.
Standard User DRW
(committed) Mon 03-Feb-20 12:22:17
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Re: UPS Backup Power


[re: Adduxi] [link to this post]
 
I have the computer and all the networking boxes supported by a UPS, power cuts are never planned and having a UPS it means I can tidy up what I am working on eg a photo edit or transmitting data and shut the system down in a controlled maner.
Standard User DanielCoffey67
(member) Mon 03-Feb-20 21:10:16
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Re: UPS Backup Power


[re: thomaswarne01] [link to this post]
 
I have an APC UPS for my 4g modem, router, and PoE switch. Since all three devices run off wall transformer blocks they are not particularly fussy about the quality of power they are given. With this in mind you are well able to use a "stepped or modified" sine wave UPS rather than the more expensive "pure" sine wave models.

You will find that your router and switch will use about 5-10W each so a UPS with a modest wattage or VA rating is perfectly good. All UPS suffer poor efficiency when very lightly loaded. Imagine a few low power devices fitted to a 1000W UPS - you will lose more power than it uses. Getting a UPS with just a few hundred VA rating will be fine for small devices.

One thing to consider is this... do all the devices run off a 12V transformer? If so, it is MUCH more efficient to get a 12V DC inverter which will plug into the mains to charge its batteries when the mains is present and deliver 12V DC to its outputs. You would then connect your router etc directly to the 12V DC inverter. Something to look into. Ask about this on any camper van/houseboat/RV forum and you will get more details.

As for the batteries in models such as the APC Back-UPS devices you should get a good five years of light use out of them before the batteries begin to degrade. For non-commercial equipment that does not need comprehensive warranties, once the original batteries fail a battery test you can readily replace them with generic 12V AGM batteries of the correct type from brands such as Yuasa.

There are lithium alternatives for a single device where you have a small LiFePO pack fed from a small lithium charger going into a 12V DC output board going into your device. Something like this... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlEnEn7ptmc
Standard User Andrue
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 03-Feb-20 21:58:42
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Re: UPS Backup Power


[re: thomaswarne01] [link to this post]
 
I recently replaced my UPS battery. The UPS is an APC ES 700, now with a slightly larger battery (9Ah instead of the 7Ah UPS sell it with). As DanielCoffey67 posted they are horribly inefficient at low load. Mine is set up to keep my FTTC modem, my router and my mail server (a low-power Eco server) running. Total load is about 25w and the software claims a run time of nearly 15 minutes. At that point the server will shutdown so presumably the modem and router would eventually follow suit a minute or two later.

It's enough to protect against brief glitches and circuit breaker trips (when someone is home to reset the breaker) but not enough to see you through a major power outage.

---
Andrue Cope
Brackley, UK

Edited by Andrue (Mon 03-Feb-20 21:59:28)

Standard User burble
(member) Mon 03-Feb-20 22:08:29
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Re: UPS Backup Power


[re: Michael_Chare] [link to this post]
 
KISS, for general home use it's just not worth fitting to a friends/relatives network unless they ask for it.
Standard User caffn8me
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 05-May-20 01:36:00
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Re: UPS Backup Power


[re: thomaswarne01] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by thomaswarne01:
Opinions on Network Equipment and UPS Backup for the appliances
When installing network equipment is it user requirements, best practice or common practice to instigate the use of a UPS to cope with short term power outage eg 1-20mins
User requirements. If a user doesn't require things to function in a power cut then nothing else matters regardless of what 'best practice' may be.

If, however, they want to be able to continue to use the internet during short power outages or they want to protect against a risk of data corruption on disks and storage devices due to a sudden loss of power they need a UPS.

Sarah

--
If I can't drink my bowl of coffee three times daily, then in my torment, I will shrivel up like a piece of roast goat

Spiders on coffee - Badass spiders on drugs
Standard User liemmayer
(newbie) Tue 08-Dec-20 20:44:05
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Re: UPS Backup Power


[re: thomaswarne01] [link to this post]
 
I like it, it sounds cool!
Standard User Pheasant
(member) Sun 03-Jan-21 10:59:36
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Re: UPS Backup Power


[re: thomaswarne01] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by thomaswarne01:
Opinions on Network Equipment and UPS Backup for the appliances
When installing network equipment is it user requirements, best practice or common practice to instigate the use of a UPS to cope with short term power outage eg 1-20mins,
I know their are many variables to this subject such as power outage frequencies or reliability of power but personally I have UPS on my Router, Switch and POE AP but I feel that if I recommend to family to invest in a UPS it is just another device to go wrong.
Any thoughts?

Whether a UPS is really needed is dependant on the type of kit being protected, the likelihood and potential duration of supply faults and the users needs during a power outage/supply fault. Basically if it stops working what are the consequences and will an unexpected power out result in damage to the equipment itself, property or person.

I have certain equipment that has an absolute need for supply backup. Some of these are IT/network related and some are not. For example my NAS array which also hosts a DVR app for security camera recording is quite important and doesn't like being switched off without a proper shutdown sequence, as the data is cached and striped as its written. There are also data scrubbing routines which get quite upset if you just yank the plug out, so to speak.

A non-network/IT example are the double pumps for the below ground drains for our surface water and foul water, which could be catastrophic if there was no power supply during a period of sustained rainfall.

A "standby" type UPS will usually be more than sufficient for home/light business use. An "online" (double-conversion) UPS is technically better, but usually not worth the added investment - for home use. There is quite a big difference technically, between the types and that is reflected in the cost of the units.
Standard User kitcat
(experienced) Sun 03-Jan-21 12:09:39
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Re: UPS Backup Power


[re: thomaswarne01] [link to this post]
 
Thomaswarne01

First question to ask is, how often do they have a power cut?

Some areas get these regularly ( more than once a year) some areas never seem to see one. ( Less than one every 5 years).

If the first it may be best to recommend if the 2nd don't bother. In the gap between the two the question is does it matter?

If all the end devices are portable it doesn't. ( Laptops / Phone etc)

If they are mains powered it may matter. (CCTV / security devices / sensors) then the router will also need UPS.to keep them all working.
Standard User 69bertie
(member) Sun 03-Jan-21 13:02:18
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Re: UPS Backup Power


[re: kitcat] [link to this post]
 
I've had a UPS on the routers (modem) for a couple of years now.

Reason, being rural, we tended to get power cuts every so often (improving picture though with the upgrades to the network over the years). They don't tend to last long but the UPS stops the routers from disconnecting.

At a stroke it seems to have cured the chance that we get reduced download speeds when it does reconnect - due to DLM thinking its a dodgy line. Strange to say, before the UPS was connected I use to see about 72Mb/s as a norm. Now 78Mb is standard for my line.

Whether one needs one, only the user can answer. I do find it very handy that I can still use my laptop, smartphone as if nothing as happened. Indeed its usually the alarm on the UPS going off that is the tell tale of a power cut occuring. Otherwise life simply carries on as normal for the equipment connecting through it.

Standard User Andrue
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 03-Jan-21 14:57:10
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Re: UPS Backup Power


[re: thomaswarne01] [link to this post]
 
From my experience of trying to protect a modem, router and a mail server (low power PC) good luck in getting 20 minutes protection. I have about ten minutes before the mail server decides to shut down. It's still useful since we do get the occasional glitch but 20 minutes will be difficult unless you pay a lot.

From what I understand the problem is today's efficient equipment. It has a horrible power factor and by the time the power has been converted from 12v DC to 240 AC then back to DC most has been lost. It's a shame UPS manufacturers don't provide versions with USB or 12V outputs so that the whole 240v AC stage can be skipped.

---
Andrue Cope
Brackley, UK

Edited by Andrue (Sun 03-Jan-21 15:00:22)

Standard User chriscdotcodotuk
(regular) Mon 04-Jan-21 12:06:13
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Re: UPS Backup Power


[re: Andrue] [link to this post]
 
It all depends on what you want and need. I have two UPS's for my gear. One is in my attic with my networking equipment and I'm powering my 4G modem and my FTTC modem via POE. I'm also powering my security cameras via POE and a couple of wifi access points. I can get 2-3hours from this UPS.

I have another UPS in the office powering the server, a couple of PIs and a WiFi AP. This too will give me a couple of hours of run time.

Where I live we have quite a few power cuts throughout the year and the annoying thing is when the power goes down the mobile phone network goes down too so our mobiles wont work. The UPS's provide more of an emergency cover for phones too.

The day after I ordered my UPS's we had 4 x 5min power outages. The day after the outages the UPS's arrived frown
They've had some use since I got them though which is both annoying and good at the same time.

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Standard User Pheasant
(committed) Tue 05-Jan-21 08:42:43
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Re: UPS Backup Power


[re: Andrue] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Andrue:
From my experience of trying to protect a modem, router and a mail server (low power PC) good luck in getting 20 minutes protection. I have about ten minutes before the mail server decides to shut down. It's still useful since we do get the occasional glitch but 20 minutes will be difficult unless you pay a lot.

From what I understand the problem is today's efficient equipment. It has a horrible power factor and by the time the power has been converted from 12v DC to 240 AC then back to DC most has been lost. It's a shame UPS manufacturers don't provide versions with USB or 12V outputs so that the whole 240v AC stage can be skipped.

I presume you're just using relatively cheap APC or similar standby units that have (non-expandable) built-in batteries. In this case you're better off tripling or quadruplling the rated VA of the UPS based on the total device VA load. Typically such UPS are only rated to hold their full load to enable a safe shutdown, i.e. around 10 minutes or so.

If you overspec and get a self-contained larger VA rated device, then it will have correspondingly larger Ah batteries to run longer, on a lower than rated load.

Personally I wouldn't bother with anything less than 1000 to 1500VA to hold up a (small) server, router, modem etc. but only because I expect a self run time of around 50 minutes.

But as we anything in life your mileage may vary wink

Obviously more serious commercial UPS units get around this problem by having external expandable battery units. These can typically be daisy chained, as its not the VA rating but the Ah capacity of the battery bank which determines how long the UPS will stand up in an outage.
Standard User thomaswarne01
(member) Sun 10-Jan-21 22:36:20
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Re: UPS Backup Power


[re: 69bertie] [link to this post]
 
I have mainly asked just to see what people's responses are regarding various purpose's and uses and the only real benefit/s are coming back as modems, Internet routers, switches and access points which make sense on the basis of maintaining the connectivity in a short duration power outage, so modem staying in sync/not dropping etc and internet not dropping for home working etc..
Pc's are also another consideration but runtime, ups capacity and shutdown communication are also factors needing to be considered, however when laptops are involved I am not normally concerned

In an office with thin clients at the desk's running from a server I have got only the server on a APC 700va/390w ups (no backup for thin clients) and then the onsite pbx telephone exchange, router and ethernet switch on a separate 500va/300w apc ups, all of which provides upto 20mins of backup (timed) which is ample for a minor outage, The thin clients boot up and re-connect to the users active session, unless server had to shut down then it all re-loads from scratch which can take up to 15 mins!
Standard User Pheasant
(committed) Fri 15-Jan-21 00:19:11
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Re: UPS Backup Power


[re: thomaswarne01] [link to this post]
 
One large UPS is going to be more efficient than lots of smaller scattered units and that is where a centralised computing model, like thin clients work great.

If the thin clients actually needed to keep working during the outage could, one theoretically could use the network itself and have centralised UPS supporting thin clients with PoE++ (802.3bt) at up to 60 watts per client. Most laptops could easily cope with that, so should be possible for thin clients.

It could be a heck of a load through the structured cabling though!

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