[nSLUG] Power Loss and UPSs

Michael Wheadon mikeat10500 at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 5 18:10:14 AST 2007


http://www.angelfire.com/linux/mikeat10500/stormsurf.jpg


--- Michael Wheadon <mikeat10500 at yahoo.com> wrote:

>  We had wind,rain and even thunder but the power did
> not flicker on my street in the north end of
> Dartmouth.
>  Nothing critical on my desktops but one has uptime
> of
> 343 days (no UPS), so I let it run. 
>  
> --- Jim Haliburton <jim at on-site.ns.ca> wrote:
> 
> > Hello all:
> > Well it is mostly over as I write this on Sunday
> > evening.  This afternoon 
> > was delightful in Metro as those around here could
> > see.  In my office the 
> > power came on between 1:00pm and 2.  Am not sure
> as
> > I was out.
> > 
> > I am impressed that someone on the list has UPSs
> > that will hold 50+ 
> > servers up for 2 hours.  That is a lot of battery
> > power.
> > 
> > I am not so lucky.  On Friday I picked up 3
> gallons
> > of fresh high test 
> > gas for my backup generator.	Sometime after 5:00
> > this AM I realized the 
> > clock was not visible and as I bcame fully
> concious
> > could hear the 
> > symphony of beeping coming from the server room
> > which is almost under my 
> > bedroom.
> > 
> > Scrambled madly to find the flashlight.  Threw on
> > some footwear and went 
> > and checked the status of all servers.  All were
> > still up and running and 
> > could see the world.  Quickly fueled the generator
> > and ran the power line 
> > to the server room.  Once the generator was
> started
> > connected up, the 
> > wailing of the alarms stopped.
> > 
> > At this point I found the Novell server's UPS had
> > run down as had my 
> > desktop system.  I just powered the UPSs off and
> > left them.
> > 
> > Some post mortem points and items about the other
> > responses.
> > 
> > 1)  I should have fueled and test run the
> generator
> > on Friday.
> > 2) I should have run the extension cord to the
> > server room Friday as 
> > well.
> > 3)  Should have made sure I knew where the
> > flashlights were last night.
> > 4)  Really must track down the UPS control
> software
> > for my all my 
> > servers.
> > 
> > You can apply these observations to your business
> > case.
> > 
> > Test the UPSs before they are needed.  I know the
> > Novell version of the 
> > software I had before would allow you to under
> > software control switch 
> > over to battery power and monitor the life left as
> > the voltage dropped.  
> > The app ran as an NLM on the server and a Windows
> > app on a workstation 
> > talked to the NLM.
> > 
> > Plan ahead and decide which servers are needed to
> > stay up and which can 
> > be powered down to extend the run-time of the
> UPSs. 
> > I should have done 
> > this Saturday evening.
> > 
> > Can virtualization allow you to reduce the server
> > count in times of power 
> > instability?
> > 
> > Can you move to a hot site easily if the power
> > outage is accompanaied by 
> > infrastructure damage that will last longer term. 
> > For example if the 
> > roof is blown off over your server room, where do
> > you move to?
> > 
> > From this I will refresh my planning.  Even as a
> > small web hoster I have 
> > obligations to clients to keep running.  After
> Juan,
> > my little generator 
> > ran 110+ hours without a break.  Once my ISP
> > connection was re-
> > established we served our clients without
> shutdown. 
> > And without power 
> > from NPSI.
> > 
> > It would be intersting to hear from others about
> > their post mortem of the 
> > power outage.
> > 
> > Now most of my UPSs are back to 90+% fully
> charged. 
> > Over the next few 
> > weeks I will test the run-time of each and start
> to
> > replace ones whose 
> > run-time is less than what it should be.  With the
> > low price of 
> > relatively good capacity, I have found it seldom
> > useful to replace 
> > batteries.  The older UPSs are likely linear power
> > supplies with large 
> > transformers etc.  New ones are far more efficient
> > and give longer run 
> > times with the same amp hour capacity batteries.
> > 
> > One person mentioned putting car or truck
> batteries
> > in their UPSs to 
> > extend their run time.  That may not be a good
> > solution.  The batteries 
> > in most UPSs are designed with slightly different
> > chemistry and a 
> > different charging plan than the batteries used in
> > automotive use.  I 
> > have found when trying this, that the automotive
> > batteries die in a short 
> > time from the charging that UPSs do.  In most
> cases
> > less than a year of 
> > life.  It has all to do with the charging.  I was
> > told that the UPS 
> > battery uses a "float" charge.  I do not know what
> > the difference is 
> > between that and what a standard charger for
> > automotive batteries does.
> > 
> > I look forward to hearing the experinces of others
> > over this week-end.
> > 
> > Regards
> > 
> > Jim H
> > 
> > James A. Haliburton
> > On-Site Computer Services of Halifax
> > Suite 100, 25 Walton Drive
> > Halifax, Nova Scotia
> > Canada     B3N 1X6
> > Office/ Cell           : (902)499-5250
> > Home/After Hours : (902)477-8342
> > e-mail      : jim at on-site.ns.ca
> > 
> > Please avoid sending me MS Office attachments.  
> For
> > an explanation see 
> > this:
> > http://www.nothingisreal.com/dfki/no-word
> > 
> > _______________________________________________
> > nSLUG mailing list
> > nSLUG at nslug.ns.ca
> > http://nslug.ns.ca/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/nslug
> > 
> 
> 
> Mike Wheadon B-3715,HEMP#1
> Higher Expectations for Modern Parachutists.
> 
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Mike Wheadon B-3715,HEMP#1
Higher Expectations for Modern Parachutists.

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