What is a UPS?

A UPS is an Uninterruptible Power Supply. Contains, among other items, a source of power, such as a battery, to provide back up power when utility power is lost or a short outage occurs. The UPS can be utilized to provide power for short-term outages or until a stand-by generator is started for longer term power back up. The function of a modern UPS can be enhanced by utilization of communication software. This allows linking the UPS with various network and administrative platforms. As an example, SNMP which supervise all UPSs, can communicate intelligent information over the network.

Why the Need for a UPS?

Computer systems and other electronic devices, due to their DC power supply design, are subject to the effects of power outages and short interruptions. They do not store sufficient energy to overcome these events and these events occur on a daily basis. Any interruption of the utility power will stop the operation of a computer system and cause loss of data, potential hardware damage and inconvenience.

The UPS has its own battery which provides back up power for your system in the event of a power outage:

You are protected against unexpected loss of data

If the utility power remains off, the UPS will give you time to

Save open files. Start a back up generator. Gently shut the system down in an orderly manner

All UPSs filter the utility power to some extent however

Line-interactive or on-line UPSs (discussed in a separate technical note) provide additional hardware protection from utility voltage fluctuations

A UPS can be connected to your PCs, file servers, workstations and peripherals

So modems, external disks and other devices can all be protected, too