How to prevent data corruption with power outages

Rodney Callaghan, MD: Southern Africa at APC believes a UPS is the solution

July 10, 2009

Rodney Callaghan, MD: Southern Africa at APC believes a UPS is the solution

Despite advances in computer technology, power outages continue to be a major cause of PC and server downtime.

Protecting computer systems with Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) hardware is often part of a total solution, but power management software is also necessary to prevent data corruption.

A UPS can protect the system and improve server availability by allowing users to continue working without interruption during a short power outage. During an extended outage, if the system is equipped with UPS shutdown software, it can perform a graceful, unattended system shutdown before the UPS battery is exhausted.

There are several ways to configure UPS Software. The simplest configuration, used in both server and workstation deployments, involve protecting a single computer with a single UPS, which communicates with the computer over a serial or USB cable. UPS software is installed on the computer and in this case the UPS is managed locally by the connected computer.

Modern operating systems such as Microsoft Windows are increasingly including more advanced approaches to power management such as new methods of shutting down. Although these advances have largely been driven by laptop user requirements, selecting the right one for use with UPS software can decrease time-to-recovery after an extended power outage.

Purchasing a UPS with extended runtime capability merits serious consideration when extended outages are common and the cost of downtime is high. In cases where hours of runtime are required a generator is recommended in addition to a UPS as a few minutes of runtime is still required to maintain the load until the generator comes online.

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