Every data center in the world utilizes Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs) for reliable backup power in the event of an outage. Power outages can occur in a data center for a variety of reasons and can last ¼ of a second or days. Any length of downtime is costly in a data center and the longer it goes on, the larger the repercussions. When it comes to data center power, redundancy is the name of the game.
The importance of redundant power in data centers cannot be emphasized enough. But, in spite of data centers knowing this full well, we see backup power supplies failing time and time again. Why is this? To have an adequate and reliable backup power supply consistent maintenance and repairs must take place and managers must anticipate future growth and needs to be able to adequately support the power load if an outage occurs. GCN reports on how costly data center outages are and the fact that UPS failure remains the number one cause of data center downtime, “According to a recent study by Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data center outage rose to $740,357 in 2015 — an increase of 38 percent since 2010. The increase in the maximum downtime cost ($2,409,991) was even greater, climbing 81 percent over that same time period… Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) failure continues to be the No. 1 cause of unplanned data center outages, accounting for one-quarter of all such events.”
Data center managers are tasked with determining what UPS is best for their unique needs and what will best support their power load should it be needed. There are many UPS manufacturers in the market with a variety of products so choosing can be difficult. But, what we do know is that Eaton, APC, Tripp Lite, and Vertiv remain the industry leading UPS manufacturers. To understand why this is it is important to take a closer look at each manufacturer.
But, before we look at each manufacturer we must discuss that choosing a brand is not simple because many products seem very similar but there is a huge range of price points. Data Center Journal explains why it is important to choose well-known, respected UPS manufacturer brands for your data center’s backup power supply, “Many UPS vendors are in the market despite the consolidation of the last three to four years. Some of these are well-known and established brands with proven engineering and testing divisions. They also provide their own engineers for warranty and support maintenance. At the same time the number of new brands is slowly growing, and some of these brands appear to be rebadging similar equipment. Here it is hard to prove the engineering quality because this is a sealed box unit with no user maintainable components. This means that critical electronics that deal with waveform distortions and harmonics as well as varistors that deal with power spikes cannot be proven to be enterprise quality. At the same time, finding local engineers to support the UPS is not a guarantee, and you could find that your nearest engineer is more than a day away. In a time of fiscal belt tightening, choosing a new, cheaper brand for a system that is rarely seen might seem like a sensible business decision. But a UPS is part of your critical infrastructure that needs regular maintenance and the attendance of an engineer as soon as something goes wrong. Skimping on this is a false economy.”
First, Eaton is a well-known industry leader and their UPS products. Eaton is a power management company that has been in business for decades and continues to produce state-of-the-art equipment today. They provide energy-efficient solutions for data centers that effectively manage power equipment with efficiency, safety, and sustainability. Eaton is dedicated to producing high quality products that not only provide data centers with solutions but that improve the quality of life and environment.
Eaton has a complete portfolio of power management solutions, showing that they understand all the ins and outs of every system component and their UPS solutions are no exception. Eaton UPSs help protect critical equipment through the provision of uninterruptible power and backup power systems. Eaton’s UPSs can be used to provide high quality backup power to everything from desktop PCs to large data centers.
Another industry-leading UPS manufacturer is APC. They are often referred to as some of the best UPS systems you can buy but they are also one of the costlier options. APC has been in business since 1981 and it well-known in the industry for creating innovative, reliable power products. In 1990, APC introduced the Smart-UPS® line which is still recognized as one of the best network power protection solutions available. Decade after decade they have continued to stay on the cutting edge of innovation and their UPS products are some of the most highly regarded and popular in the world.
Next, Tripp Lite is another UPS manufacturer that remains incredibly popular in the data center industry. Tripp Lite has been in business since 1922 and has a wide range of products including UPS systems for a fully integrated, well-functioning system. They were actually the first company to manufacture UPS systems for desktop computers and they continue to adapt and innovate with new UPS products today. Tripp Lite understands that a UPS system must provide enough power to outlast an outage as well as automatically save files while shutting down a computer safely during blackouts. They have a wide range of models with various capacities including single-phase and 3-phase UPS options.
Lastly, Vertiv is a global industry-leading power solution manufacturer and make some of the most highly-respected UPS systems in the market. Vertiv, formerly known as Emerson Network Power, produces efficient and reliable UPS systems that have a wide range of power capacity to meet the needs of a data center’s mission critical systems. Vertiv is constantly innovating and Frost & Sullivan recently commended them for their ability to incubate new UPS technology, “Based on its recent analysis of the uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Vertiv, formerly Emerson Network Power, with the 2017 EMEA Frost & Sullivan Award for Product Leadership. Vertiv has consistently been mentioned among the top-three global UPS participants because of the exceptional success of its advanced UPS technologies. Its cutting-edge products are perfectly aligned with evolving customer requirements, and boast industry-leading design and scalability. A case in point is the highly innovative Liebert® Trinergy™ Cube UPS, the first static UPS capable of hot-scaling up to 3.4 MW in a single unit, and up to 27 MW when connected in parallel. This power capacity could previously be achieved only by rotary UPS solutions…Vertiv’s AC power UPS portfolio encompasses power ranges from 500 VA to 3.4 MW in a single unit, and provides offline, line-interactive, and online double conversion technologies. Each of its product categories caters to numerous end-user verticals, including niche light industrial applications such as transportation, utility support, healthcare, and industrial processes. ‘The company’s technology excellence is complemented by its brilliant product positioning and pricing strategy,’ said Frost & Sullivan Senior Industry Analyst Gautham Gnanajothi.”
It is exceptionally important that a data center manager do their due diligence and conduct in-depth research into the various UPS manufacturers and their various UPS options for data centers. When chosen correctly, a UPS system will provide a data center with the adequate amount of power throughout any power interruption or power failure. Power interruptions and power failures happen every day in data centers and should not be taken lightly. An adequate power supply must be available at all times which means a data center manager must not only anticipate future needs and growth but constantly maintain and monitor the UPS to ensure that it will be able to provide the necessary power when needed most. Investing in the right uninterruptible power supply now is not just proactive; it can save you a lot of money and frustration in the long run. It protects future profitability and provides you the peace of mind that mission-critical operations will not experience downtime. By choosing one of a UPS from some of the most well-respected and innovative brands including Eaton, APC, Tripp Lite, and Vertiv you will know that you are preparing for any potential risk, providing your data center with adequate reliable redundancy, and setting your data center up for maximized uptime.