How many times has the power gone off and destroyed a document you have been working on for an hour? It’s bad enough when this happens on a workstation, but what if this was a server? Especially a server that hosts mail or a web page. What if these turn off over the weekend? Computers don’t typically turn themselves back on when the power comes back. A critical component of your network infrastructure is a UPS (uninterruptible power supply). This is also known as a battery backup.
The UPS sits between the power supply and the equipment that is being protected. This allows the computer to keep running on battery power during power blips or even short outages. If the outage is extended it will allow for a graceful shutdown of servers and PCs. Computers don’t act happy when the power gets yanked out from under them. Better to shut it down under your own terms. In most cases you will never notice when the UPS takes over.
Most UPS’s have a connection to the computer that lets you monitor the UPS. It will also let you set options, like whether you would rather keep the server on as long as possible or save battery power. Obviously this would depend on how frequent outages occur in your particular environment. If you have a lot of power fluctuations, then you would probably set the UPS to save battery power. Also, the software usually monitors power spikes and the device acts as a surge protector.
If you don’t have one of these devices you will want to invest in one. If you already have one, it may be time to see if you need more than one to protect all your company’s computers.