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Did we really need that 30kVA UPS? April 21, 2006

Posted by Matsu in Technology.

One day early this week we experienced a city-wide power outage at around 5:00am. Normally, that would be a non-event for the IT group because the servers and network switches would just hum along through the blackout and be ready to serve users again when the power was restored. That's normally. This week, things were not normal.

The Liebert 30kVA UPS we have feeding the servers in our data center failed us. We ran the data center without any backup power that first day (after the local power was restored). That was really scary for an old I.T. manager like me.

The good news is that we didn't experience any more power outages that first day. Then, early the second day, with a lot of help from my staff (they did all of the work) several small (portable) 2.2kVA UPS units were moved into the server room to provide temporary protection from power disruptions.

What happened to the big Liebert UPS? It was the opinion of the manufacturer that we needed to replace all of the batteries. Now, that doesn't seem like a big deal at first blush, but when you consider that the batteries in that unit are each about the size of a car battery and it takes thirty (30) batteries, the task becomes a much bigger deal. Not to mention, expensive.

It just goes to show you, when the UPS works, you don't ever think about it – you have peace of mind. But, when it fails you, it demands your full attention.

Is it time to check the batteries in your UPS?



1. DrBacchus - April 22, 2006

My teensy UPS failed the same night, and my other (desktop) machine that wasn’t on UPS suffered a rather serious hard drive crash. Or at least, so it seemed at first. It seems to have recovered, but now I’m really nervous about it. I might need to go out and get some new UPSes, or at least work out a better backup strategy.

2. Matsu’s World: The One Less Traveled » Warning: Don’t shut down that Windows 2003 Server! - May 1, 2006

[…] Recently, I wrote this post about the Liebert 30kVA UPS at work that failed. It had 5-year-old batteries (30 of them) so the manufacturer recommended that we replace the batteries. If that did not fix the problem, then they would send a technician out to diagnose the problem (for only $1,000). […]

3. Matsu’s World: The One Less Traveled » How many technician visits does it take to fix a 30kVA Liebert UPS - May 22, 2006

[…] Do you remember when I wrote this post about the failing Liebert UPS (uninterruptible power supply) at work? Well, it's been a month since my 30kVA Liebert UPS died. Since then, we've had the repair technician out to diagnose and repair it four times. […]

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