Protect Your UPSs

May 17, 2005
Proactively monitor and manage your power protection infrastructure

Your organization’s data center and other electronic systems depend on power, but utility power is anything but dependable. So, you have uninterruptible power systems (UPSs) on the job to deliver the clean power required for non-stop operations and equipment longevity.

These UPSs safeguard elements within your network, but who’s protecting the protectors? You need to be able to monitor and communicate with your power protection systems from anywhere, at any time - to anticipate and ward off problems before they occur.

With the right management system, you can remotely monitor and manage a single UPS, an enterprise-wide network of many UPSs, or a complete power protection infrastructure, including generators, environmental systems, detection devices, etc.

Consider the advantages:

Monitor and manage UPS status from anywhere. From a Web browser or network/building management system (NMS/BMS), which may be hundreds or thousands of miles away, a system administrator can shut down or reboot a remote UPS, perform remote UPS diagnostics, and set up scheduled shutdowns of UPSs and associated servers. The ability to shut down or restart systems without a site visit dramatically reduces field service expenses and response time.

Automatically notify key personnel of utility failures, device status, environmental problems, or other conditions via alphanumeric paging, e-mail, mobile phones, PDAs, and SNMP outputs. Rapid notification means rapid resolution, which saves time and money - and can potentially forestall serious conditions.

Conduct orderly, unattended shutdown of connected equipment during power outages. Hundreds of devices in remote or unmanned sites can be protected without requiring an on-site visit from a technician. You can also schedule planned shutdowns to conserve power, or shut off the UPS during an extended outage to accelerate battery recharge time when the power comes back up.

Selectively shut down non-critical systems to conserve battery power for essential systems. By controlling power usage at a granular “load segments” level, you increase battery runtime available for more important equipment, extend overall battery life, and, in turn, delay the costs of battery replacement.

Monitor other elements besides UPSs. With some management systems, you can monitor other elements in the power distribution system, such as generators, static switches, power distribution units (PDUs), and spot air-conditioners from multiple vendors. You can even unify the management of the greater facilities infrastructure, including HVAC, UPS, power distribution, generator, fire detection, and security systems.

Analyze, graph, and predict trends. With intelligence distilled from performance data, you can predict what’s going to happen next, how to prevent a recurrence of a past problem, or defend against a more serious problem. For example, graphic representations of battery, load, and temperature data enable you to gauge battery health, perform accurate capacity planning, and prevent overload and over-temperature conditions.

All of these capabilities can be achieved over standard communication networks, such as your existing LAN and/or secure Internet connections, using popular platforms and standards.

The right UPS management software and connectivity solution provides an umbrella of protection for your entire power protection infrastructure - the essential foundation for the 24/7 availability that facilities managers are being pressed to deliver.

Jim Thompson is manager of software and connectivity for Powerware products at Raleigh, NC-based Eaton Corp. (

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