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A red sign that says no power with an electrical outlet.

What is a UPS?

Have you experienced a loss of electrical power?  Have you lost computer information when the power failed?  Has a computer or laptop been corrupted because of a power surge?
Power outages can occur anytime.  Storm damage, ice and snow, car accidents are just a few of the ways that power can be lost.  Power surges are another way to lose power and will also damage your hardware.  Over 95% of electrical surges are due to devices that require significant changes in power.
A UPS is an uninterrupted power supply or a backup battery for your network and hardware. UPS’s allow servers and networks to run for a short amount of time, allowing for data saving and a safe shut down of equipment.  There are many different models and features that are available in a UPS.  Some just give you 5-15 minutes, so that a user can safely save and shut down.  Others, automatically save and shut down the network without human interaction.
A couple of features that are available are surge protection and hot swappable batteries. The surge protection blocks the surges of electrical power that can come unexpectedly and shut down and even damage your hardware.  Surge protectors can take care of leveling all deficiencies of the power grid, providing a steady and stable AC to the devices.
Hot swappable batteries are a must if you have several servers.  This feature allows you to replace the batteries without having to shut down the whole network.  Other features that you can choose from:  automatic shutdown, user notification of power loss, customizable shutdown commands, conservation mode, battery replacement warning, management tools (status display, runtime, event log, remote management via the web or remote computer), and enviroment (temperature, humidity).
Purchasing a UPS is a major investment and should not be taken lightly.  It should be on your must have list not your when I get to it list.  They are not hard to install, but making sure you have the right one for your business can be tricky.  Hiring a professional to do a site survey and calculate what size you need is a good investment.  You don’t want to come up short when you need it the most.
A UPS does not replace a disaster recovery plan, but can give you time to implement that plan.  Your data and hardware is at the core of your business, make it a priority to protect it from power disruptions.

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