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I would like to take the opportunity to thank Matthew Malcolm for his support on Tuesday in helping Harbourside Market resolve a major connectivity issue we were experiencing with the Motorola PDA’s and the commercial wireless installation. Please pass on my thanks to Matthew as his support was very much appreciated.

Merv Williams

Harbourside Market

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Power Protection


With storm season once again on the doorstep, it is paramount to ensure that your business critical electronics are adequately shielded against the damaging effects of power inconsistency.

Some suburbs will experience more frequent instances of power irregularities over others; regardless, at a minimum we recommend that all network critical devices such as file servers are connected to a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply).

What is a UPS?

A UPS is a battery pack that sits between an electronic device, for example a computer, and the mains power. The batteries supply power to the computer whenever the mains power becomes unavailable. Your laptop is a perfect example of this setup. If the power plug is pulled from your laptop during operation, it will continue to run on battery with zero disruption to the end user. When the battery power is almost depleted, the laptop will initiate a shutdown of Windows. A proper shutdown of Windows is the safest way to avoid corruption or lost data. This is especially true for Windows “Server” operating systems.



Not all UPS’s are the same

The size of a UPS and how much load is being drawn from connected devices will determine how much uptime is available during a power outage. So it is important to be using a UPS large enough to match the demand required.

A UPS also has built in filtration systems to help clean irregular power. Many electronic devices are sensitive to power quality. Fluctuations in voltage from brown outs and electrical storms can wreak havoc with your network and dramatically reduce the life span of electronic equipment. So in some instances high quality UPS’s like Line interactive and Double conversion On-line UPS’s are recommended.

Three Different Types of UPS


Stand-by UPS


These are the most basic and cheapest design. Most will come with surge protection, but this will not stop the fluctuations in power quality that can shorten the life span of the connected equipment. When the mains power is cut, this UPS will switch to its battery supplied power for a limited amount of time.


  • A Standby UPS is typically designed to keep non-essential equipment running during events of brief power failure.




Line Interactive UPS


A Line interactive UPS is similar to the stand-by UPS with one key difference. All voltage fluctuations are corrected to within 10% of the normal 240V by special line conditioning circuitry. Some higher end line interactive UPS’s will even provide a 5% voltage regulation.


  • A Line Interactive UPS provides regulated power which gives additional protection for important computers, network switches, phone systems etc

Double Conversion On-Line UPS


A double conversion, online UPS provides the best form of power protection. AC mains power is converted to DC power, which charges the batteries and feeds DC power into an inverter.  This converts the DC power back into clean AC power. This converted AC power is now free from any power impurities that can damage sensitive equipment.


These UPS’s are designed to constantly clean and regulate power. They are known to be reliable for years - so expect them to be the most costly of all.

A double conversion, online UPS is recommended in situations where:

  • Connected equipment is mission critical
  • Servers that are supporting more than 5 users
  • Power is supplied from a generator
  • Other types of UPS’s have failed to eliminate problems with connected equipment


UPS contain batteries and so it is recommended to have them tested periodically, especially if they are more than 3 years old. Battery life does deteriorate over time which will shorten uptime. Sufficient uptime is necessary for devices such as computer servers to shutdown correctly. Some servers can take up to 20 minutes to power down so UPS management software should be configured to factor this in.


Have your IT professional test and confirm the correct functionality of your UPS to insure yourself against power related disasters this summer.

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