An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is primarily used to provide a backup power source to your computer and other devices plugged into it.
In addition to acting as a backup when the power goes out, most UPS devices also act as power “conditioners” by ensuring that the electricity flowing to your computer and accessories is free from drops or surges. If a computer is not receiving a consistent flow of electricity, damage, such as database corruption can and often does occur.
While a UPS system is not a required device to complete a computer system, including one as part of yours is always recommended. The need for a reliable supply of electricity is often overlooked.
Once you’ve made the decision to add a UPS to your computer system there are a few things you should do to ensure you don’t lose your data the next time a thunderstorm strikes.
- Connect the data cable and install the UPS software. This is a critical step. If you install a UPS but don’t complete the setup, the UPS will provide limited protection — it’ll kick in during a power loss, but if power doesn’t return promptly, eventually the battery in the UPS will run down and your PC will lose power anyway. The data cable and software allows your UPS to tell your PC to shut down gracefully.
- Configure the software. This isn’t a difficult step, but it is important since it lets you specify how long the battery backup should run before shutting down.
- Test your battery occasionally. Every few months, you should start the UPS software and run a self-test. This lets you see how healthy the battery is and determine if it’s time to replace it. If the battery’s capacity is so low that it can’t carry your PC for even a minute, for example, it’ll do you no good in a power failure and you’ll lose data anyway.
Please consult with your IT consultant for recommendations on makes/models of UPS devices.