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UPS Hardware/Software

Last updated: 1/5/2014

American Power Conversion Corporation, APC, is the industry leader for UPS and surge suppression hardware.

When shopping for UPS units, pay special attention to how many outlets on the device are actually UPS protected versus just surge suppression protected. If you are planning to use the UPS to protect your computer, then be sure to purchase one that has the capability to talk to the PC and shut it down in event of an extended power outage.

The PC operating system can become corrupt in the event of a hard power outage. A UPS with auto-shutdown software can fully protect against this risk. APC makes PowerChute Personal Edition freely available on their website and ships a CD with the software on it with APC Back-UPS models.

Two common mistakes people make is not installing the smart shutdown software and not installing the communications cable. Both of these are supplied with APC Back-UPS models. Follow the instructions provided with the unit to correctly install the software and communications cable.

The VA output the UPS delivers versus the demand your equipment places on the UPS determines the runtime. Runtime is how long the UPS will provide battery power to all the devices powered by it on the UPS outlets. So the larger the VA output of the UPS, the longer the runtime. You must be sure you purchase a unit with enough capacity to protect all of your devices without overloading the UPS. APC has a very nice UPS model calculator on their website.


Purpose APC UPS Model
3 UPS + 3 surge outlets; 1000VA output BR1000G
3 UPS + 3 surge outlets; 1500VA output BR1500G
6 UPS outlets; 1500VA output Smart-UPS 1500

The BR1000G or BR1500G are both well suited to provide excellent runtime to a single PC or provide reasonable runtime to a medium stack of network equipment.

Any datacenter-like installation requires smart signaling technology between the UPS units and the servers that are protected by them. There is only one signalling cable connection standardly available on a Smart-UPS unit. Further, the IT monitoring system must receive email alerts and status updates from each important UPS. In order to accomplish these and other incredibly important functions, each Smart-UPS should have a network management card installed and configured correctly.

QPC has extensive experience sizing, installing, and configuring UPS systems for datacenters including:

  • install/config UPS network management cards

  • install/config network shutdown software

  • install/config centralized UPS network management card and shutdown options

  • recovery of lost UPS admin passwords

Contact us if you need assistance with your UPS infrastructure.