Uninterruptible Power Supplies and Your Data Center

What exactly is an uninterrupted power supply? How do you know which UPS is right for your data center? These two questions prove to be pivotal when setting up a data center or a data room that will service the needs of your organization. When you use technology, the most important part of the equation is power. With out power or a steady stream of power, it can be impossible to deliver services reliably through out your organization.
Even computer hobbyists could gain from using a UPS in their environment. Servers, computers and most other electronic equipment thrive off an uninterrupted power source. Data centers are the number one customers for UPS devices. Why? Electricity delivered from utility companies doesn’t remain constant. A slight power surge, power sag or outage could be detrimental to your organization’s objectives.
Infrastructure equipment works best when it gets a steady, regulated source of power. This helps ensure the longevity of the equipment you are using within your data center. When devices such as SANs or other types of storage appliances receive inconsistent power, you are directly putting the integrity of your organizations data at risk. Having a UPS within your onsite data center is easily one of the first things a data center architect should look at implementing within the facility.
How can you determine the best UPS for your needs?
You must first determine what you actually have. UPS devices come in large, small and modular designs that will fit inside of racks or as a standalone appliance within a data center. You should research the specifications of the specific UPS device you are interested in purchasing so that you can gather enough information which will enable you to make an educated decision.
Another factor you should consider is whether or not your site has a generator that could kick in during an outage. Most UPS devices use lead batteries to keep devices running during a power outage. If you do not have a generator onsite, you may want a more robust UPS solution. If you have a generator on site and you know that the generator will repower your facility within 60 seconds, having a super robust UPS could be overkill.
Uninterrupted Power Supplies sometimes comes with a flywheel design versus the traditional lead battery model. There are pros and cons and many organizations only utilize the flywheel design based on space constraints or green energy endeavors. The flywheel spins and when power loss is detected, the energy generated from the wheels motion is used by the data center’s equipment.  The fly wheel slows down thus indicating that the perpetual motion that keeps the flywheel moving is waning. The flywheel design is gaining more popularity because it leaves a much smaller environmental impact than the traditional UPS systems, especially within green data centers of the future.