Todays ups --- not just "a battery in a box"

In a typical business environment, computers, workstations, servers, and other components form a virtual corporate mainframe connecting one or more networks with data and programs scattered throughout the virtual mainframe. An electrical power disruption to any of the network devices, or an unexpected shutdown of the network itself, could be disastrous for a company.

Today?s ups ?- not just Oa battery in a boxO

Lauri Turevon, Liebert Corp.

In a typical business environment, computers, workstations, servers, and other components form a virtual corporate mainframe connecting one or more networks with data and programs scattered throughout the virtual mainframe. An electrical power disruption to any of the network devices, or an unexpected shutdown of the network itself, could be disastrous for a company.

When something disrupts the network`s power, the loss of electrical power for even a minute amount of time can corrupt the network and cause the loss of critical information and data that is running through the network. Local area network (lan) configurations can be more susceptible to power and electrical noise problems than can stand-alone computers. For example, even a simple lan configuration can form ground loops with its own wiring, which can transmit electrical noise among all nodes on the network, causing a host of glitches.

The Yankee Group (Boston) estimates that the average Forbes 1000 company loses $4.2 million to $6.3 million per year in productivity due to network downtime. Costs per hour of downtime can reach astronomical heights, depending on your business.

The need for "intelligent" ups systems results from a large increase in businesses linking computers into lans. Designed specifically to protect network components, intelligent upss can continuously monitor power quality, report on battery status, load, and perform self-diagnostics.

Interest in simple network management protocol (snmp)- compatible devices began in the late 1980s when the concept of snmp first emerged, and grew steadily among network managers throughout the 1990s.

The use of snmp to monitor and control a ups offers the following advantages:

Network managers can configure upss in the network locally or remotely.

snmp makes it possible for hardware and software from a variety of ups vendors to work together.

It minimizes equipment costs because the same network-management software and console serve all snmp-compatible devices within the network.

snmp compatibility makes it possible to detect power problems in remote locations and log power disturbances for historical records.

Network-management stations can monitor upss with snmp communications and perform shutdown and load-shedding functions from a single location. snmp gives managers the ability to shut off individual loads on the ups, rather than simply shutting down the ups itself--and all the loads on it.

Because today`s complex computing and networking systems are so crucial to business operations, businesses need ups systems to deliver the clean, uninterrupted flow of power their equipment demands. Just as you would protect your stand-alone mainframe from potential memory loss and data corruption with a ups back-up system, you need to protect all the electrically active devices on your network--on your virtual mainframe computer. Otherwise, these devices become the Achilles` heel in a network system, the most vulnerable point for power problems and potential total system shutdown.

Lauri Turevon is sales and business development manager at Liebert Corp. (Columbus, OH).

More in Home