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Planning Your Backup Power Needs For Future Business Growth

by John Ciarlone on March 5, 2014
battery backup planning These days, your IT network and other online services really aren't optional. If your business is like most today, these services are now a vital part of your day-to-day operations. They may even be among your most important revenue-drivers.
Either way, the days that we could just shrug and carry on during a power outage are pretty much over. Workers needed electricity to be productive, and customers need access to online services for even basic transactions. It's a very rare business that can weather power outages without suffering significant losses throughout.
Short on time? Download our  free guide The Different Types of UPS Systems 
This is why reliable battery backup systems are so important to modern businesses. If you can't afford to have your network go down, a reliable Uninterruptible Power Supply may ultimately stand between you and ruin.

APC UPS Battery Backup Planning 

A UPS with battery backup ultimately protects your network - and the future of your business - in two different ways.
First, by providing power regulation and surge protection, it prevents any irregularities in your power flow from damaging your sensitive network equipment. This is the 24/7 insurance policy a UPS provides. As long as your equipment is attached to one that's in proper working order, it's going to be safer than an unprotected power plug.
Secondly, of course, it provides battery backup power in the case of an outage, seamlessly switching over without interrupting operations. While you'll (hopefully) only use this feature occasionally, it's when a UPS really pays for itself.
Given that an outage can cost a business hundreds of dollars - if not thousands or more - per hour, often it just takes a single blackout to justify the purchase of a UPS.
Planning For Your UPS Purchase
There are three major attributes to consider when buying a UPS:
  • The number of outlets

  • The maximum wattage/voltage

  • The length of battery backup

It's easy enough to buy a battery backup system that suits your current needs. Just add up the power requirements of everything that's going to be plugged into it, and make sure it can output enough power to enough outlets.
The real issue is that, as the months and years pass, you'll probably be buying new equipment and plugging more hardware into the UPS. This is where we see too many businesses get themselves into trouble.
For one thing, every extra device added to the system necessarily decreases how long the backup battery can operate. It seems obvious, but it's easy to overlook if no one's paying attention. Worse, however, is if those extra devices ultimately end up drawing more current than the battery can provide. This can turn your expensive UPS into a doorstop within seconds, during your next power outage.
tripp lite upsGiven that a UPS battery should last 3 years under most circumstances, you want to buy a one that will work reliably for its entire lifespan. Otherwise, you'll be throwing bad money after good, as the saying goes.
Look To The Future Before Buying A UPS
So, your UPS purchase really should be conducted with an eye towards the future. Ultimately, it's going to be less expensive to buy a model you have to "grow into" than buying something that will have to be replaced within a year or two.
Take a look at your business's future plans, or have a discussion with your budgeting officers. Try to get a realistic look at how your technology needs are likely to change over the next few years, then plan your UPS purchase around this.
Focus on the power consumption statistics, rather than battery backup life. Most UPS systems today allow for daisy-chained batteries, so you can always add more whenever needed. However, if the UPS doesn't support the wattage or voltage your equipment demands, you'll be out of luck.
And if you'd like more advice, or you're curious what businesses like yours are doing to protect their networks, just contact Hummingbird Networks for more specifics!  

Topics: Power and Protection