UPSs are the first line of defense agains power outages, sags and surges
Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems are put in place to protect attached equipment, condition the incoming power to reduce sags and surges and to also supply a short term solution during loss of power.
Electronic equipment is very susceptible to damage caused by sudden loss of power with the risk and likelihood increasing with the complexity of the equipment.
Damage to equipment
Power loss can have negative effects outside of the obvious loss of work or services. Devices such as computers and servers are constantly active and working even if a user has not asked it to do anything. Important system files could be being worked on by the computer when power loss occurs permanently corrupting or destroying the file.
Power source switch over
Even if a site has generators there is a delay between loss of power and a generator being switched on. UPSs are used to ensure there is no loss of power during the switch over from mains power to generator power.
Why UPS monitoring is important
When a power cut or interruption to the mains supply occurs it is very important to act quickly. OmniWatch sends out alerts to key members of staff at the very moment the UPS takes over feeding power giving as much warning as possible.
OmniWatch alerts allows enough time for important work to be saved, services to be spun down and all non-essential equipment to be shut off properly. Most UPSs only have enough battery autonomy for a very short period of time and if there is no generator to take over or return of the mains supply then reducing non-critical loads quickly will help keep important equipment up and running longer.
OmniWatch is built from the ground up to work on any internet enabled device so metrics such as run time remaining and phase loads can be tracked on a mobile phone or tablet while on site during an outage; giving all the information needed quickly and easily.
Alongside monitoring power outages OmniWatch monitors the health of a UPS and is configured to alert to conditions and incidents that could otherwise go unnoticed such as faulty batteries. OmniWatch works to keep its users informed and up-to-date with the operational health of all their equipment and reports have been used as evidence in upholding warranties.
Monitor all hardware, regardless of manufacturer
OmniWatch is designed to be vendor independent and protocol neutral. This means management of multiple equipment and devices is controlled by a single, secure and easy to use application.
Get more from the considerable investment already made on a UPS
Most modern UPS systems have the ability to have a communications card installed within it that allow for third party solutions to connect and share metrics and usage data.
OmniWatch is capable of monitoring these cards and their UPSs, either through SNMP, Modbus, BACnet or other protocols. Spook is constantly working to increase the number of supported devices and communications protocols to allow for a singular cloud based solution and not force users to be reliant on local only web interfaces.
Even UPSs that are not able to be network attached can be added to a user's monitoring footprint as there is usually a facility to connect to a Voltage Free Connection (VFC) panel to monitor a wide-range of conditions.
When using a VFC there are two types of condition to monitor, Normally Open (NO) or Normally Closed (NC).
Spook recommends setting equipment to NO when the alarm status is within the normal operating mode.
Therefore, if the interconnecting cable connecting the sensor to the monitoring unit is cut or becomes loose, the sensor will send an alarm.
UPS environmental monitoring
Monitoring the environment of a UPS is as important as monitoring the temperature of a server room.
Many UPSs have battery banks associated with them. These battery banks contain individual batteries that require the ambient environment to be within the guidelines of the manufacturer.
It's important to be able to prove the operating environment of a UPS and associated batteries in order to maintain its warranty protection.
During recent roadworks the mains power was lost to our London server room. Thanks to OmniWatch our IT team in the Midlands could monitor our UPS systems in London to ensure they were providing back-up power during the outage.
We could keep an eye on each power phase as well as knowing the time remaining on each UPS. Afterwards we could produce audit reports to prove to management that our UPS systems continued seamless power provision in accordance with our plans.
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Get in touch with Spook
Please contact us if you wish for further information on how Spook can help with your environmental and power monitoring needs.