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I have two servers and 60 PCs and one storage device and backup device. I need details about how to structure my UPS and servers.

Should I put them on a separate 5kVA APC UPS for the servers and a 20kVA common UPS for the PCs? Or one and only 20kVA and link all PCs, servers and storage devices to the UPS. I know the brief details about this.

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3 Answers

Personally I UPS all my server room gear (switches and backup devices included) and let the workstations hang. The UPS must be managable. All important servers with "state" (like file servers and network controllers) either get the UPS software or are under the control of a computer which has it installed.

At sites where the "house" power isn't smooth/reliable enough I'll go buy the most basic UPS I can find (like an APC BackUPS-350) for each workstation and put one on each workstation (computer on battery, monitor and peripherals on surge protection only); this should cost less than $50 per workstation. But I don't bother with installing the UPS software on them unless it is trivial.

The big problem with server room UPS is getting the window required to test the shutdown order and to make sure your batteries will last long enough. I'm yet to successfully automate an automatic restart, too -- getting time, budget, and windows to play with that is even harder. But it's been several years since one of my rooms lost something important due to a power issue.

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For me it's all server room gear on UPS. Backup devices also, mainly because they don't like the surges and spikes that accompany power outages/restores. I'd sooner use some of the UPS capacity than have to replace the tape drive.

PCs normally don't get a UPS. It's just not cost effective where I am because even a very small UPS will cost $150+. As all work files should reside on the servers, not the local drive, there will be minimal loss when the power goes out. Anyone working on their local drive is more likely to get a lecture than sympathy from me. One exception I would make the this is for people such as programmers, who may be running very time consuming processes (e.g. compiling large programs) on their workstations. Personally, if I do any programming or other work locally I use my laptop.

Edit:

I also keep a rechargeable torch (flashlight) in the server room, which has no lights during power outages. It just means that I don't have to stumble in the dark and not have to worry about the batteries being flat just when I need them.

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Don't worry about your backup kit, but do UPS-up your servers and storage, if you have capacity left then by all means connect your client PCs but I wouldn't personally bother myself.

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