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  1. #1
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    Colocation that can install a backup battery?

    Hello,
    Does any one know of a colocation that can install a back up battery?, as well as my own router?

  2. #2
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    Don't see why not, that's usually standard with most hosts when you first start with them.
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  3. #3
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    I can't think of a colocation facility that doesn't put you on the facility's UPS and generators? That's why they charge you for power, not only do they have to pay the utility company, but they also have to provide redundancy.

    Plus can you imagine the inefficiences of every customer having their own UPS unit, and the resulting heat?!

  4. #4
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    If the facility already runs everything off a UPS, they shouldn't allow you to install your own. Doing so has the potential to damage the equipment.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by netfreak View Post
    If the facility already runs everything off a UPS, they shouldn't allow you to install your own. Doing so has the potential to damage the equipment.
    I don't see how that would damage the UPS, as the BBU would only pick up if the UPS failed. I could be wrong, I just don't see how it could.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Wall View Post
    I don't see how that would damage the UPS, as the BBU would only pick up if the UPS failed. I could be wrong, I just don't see how it could.
    I'm not sure of the technical specifics, but it has to do with dirty power. A lot of DCs won't allow a UPS to be placed on a circuit that is already protected by another UPS.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bqinternet View Post
    I'm not sure of the technical specifics, but it has to do with dirty power. A lot of DCs won't allow a UPS to be placed on a circuit that is already protected by another UPS.
    Ah. Thanks for clearing that up.
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  8. #8
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    What about theplanet? they had a backup usp and it blew up!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by notmove View Post
    What about theplanet? they had a backup usp and it blew up!
    That was a generator that blew up, and the fire marshal told them to cut all power. That's a very isolated incident as far as I know.
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  10. #10
    5 years ago we didn't have generators on site, we had to bring generators in case of problems. Because of that all the core equipment we were running on additional UPSes - just in case if bring our generators would be delayed.
    Now we have 1 installed gen for each or or DCs - so we don't do that any more.

    Saying that I don't see a problem to have UPSes (especially if they are per cabinet) installed, or converters into DC with batteries installed (actually this is the way to get 48V power now in many cases).

    And of course anybody who maintains their own routers will be happy for a fee to maintain customer's router.

    So the answer to OP - yes you can find a hosting company which will allow to put your "battery" (would it be UPS or DC equipment) and yes, you can find a hosting company which will let you to have your own router and it will manage it for you.
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  11. #11
    I don't see a problem with it. Thats why APC has rack models UPS, if they where not allowed in a DC they would not produce them at all. There could be some facilities that don't allow this, but to be honest I never heard of it before. Putting UPS on a rack is nothing out of another world specially because almost all DCs have power problems at least once every couple of years. That includes IBM Datacenters as well. All have power problems, even short ones, but nothing is 100% safe. If you count how many outages there where reported here at WHT in the last years, almost 80% of them are because of UPS failing or something similar, so putting your own UPS on the rack is actually a good idea. Even if you have 2 power feeds, it only takes 1 second without power to reboot routers, and even lose data in some cases. UPS in a DC facility don't power up as fast, it doesn't matter what marketing they use, on real life there are problems. Every single provider I know in the world had power failures at least once. On a paper design, the DC is always very nice and looks great, but once you handle so much power and equipments it only requires on small error to make it all fail.
    Last edited by PYDOT; 10-30-2009 at 12:41 AM.

  12. #12
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    It is NOT adviseable to put a ups in series with another ups.

    The reason is harmonics. It is possible to create line distortion if you plug a second ups into a line already protected by a ups. This overheat the second UPS and cause problems, also potentially a fire.
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  13. #13
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven View Post
    It is NOT adviseable to put a ups in series with another ups.

    The reason is harmonics. It is possible to create line distortion if you plug a second ups into a line already protected by a ups. This overheat the second UPS and cause problems, also potentially a fire.
    This sounds right. I recall reading something similar in one of my UPS manuals.

  15. #15
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    If all you're worried about is power failure, you could use an offline UPS in the rack, that shouldn't pose any chaining problems provided the power from the primary UPS is clean enough. If they even make rack-mountable versions of those at decent capacities.

    I did once try to chain an offline UPS to a "cheap" line-interactive one, and it would constantly cut off when the primary was running off battery. But using a good APC Online UPS as primary, I haven't had any problems.

  16. #16
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    A lot of major facilities discourage this, for three reasons that I know of:

    #1 - Weight/hazard. Batteries, capacitors, etc. in a cabinet, increase the risk (heat, fire, floor loading), in an area that may not have been designed to the same spec as their UPS area (especially if its a facility that keeps their UPS/transformers in a totally separate suite, etc.)

    #2 - As aeris noted, a lot of UPS's that are commonly colocated, will detect the loss of facility power/main UPS on battery mode, as a brownout condition. Most UPS's will deliver a square wave power pattern, instead of a sine wave. Same reason people dont run their HVAC's off their UPS's (efficiency aside), because the UPS's dont deliver the "right" kind of power.

    #3 - UPS's in racks/cabinets can cause damage to the equipment in the cabinet/surrounding cabinets. If a number of customers do this (eg. facility has poor power history/performance), that means that areas of the facility will get *very* hot during a UPS failure. Consider if a generator doesn't start, that means from the time that the power fails, until the UPS is depleted (5-20 minutes in most circumstances), the primary UPS is pumping out power for the servers, and a LOT of heat off the batteries/transformers/etc. (ramping up as the voltage drops on the battery strings). This heat has nowhere to go, as the HVAC's wont be operational. By the time the primary UPS is depleted, the facility is going to be hot. Cabinet mounted UPS's will simply dump more heat into the equation, potentially toasting their gear, and other customers gear in the process.

  17. #17
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    Okay, wow you guys are crazy. Lets say, if a DC goes down and there no power at all (Something not working right obliviously), what can i use to keep my servers online? A battery wont work?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by notmove View Post
    Okay, wow you guys are crazy. Lets say, if a DC goes down and there no power at all (Something not working right obliviously), what can i use to keep my servers online? A battery wont work?
    You should choose a datacenter that has proper redundancy in place if you need to stay up in the event of a power failure. Unless they have a non-UPS protected circuit they can deliver to you, you should not bring your own. Even if they allow it because they don't understand the ramifications of doing so, should you start a fire or kill their facility UPS and bring all their other customers down with it, guess where they'll place blame... you.

  19. #19
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    okay, got it. Is there anything that is safe or really nothing at all?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by porcupine View Post
    #3 - UPS's in racks/cabinets can cause damage to the equipment in the cabinet/surrounding cabinets. If a number of customers do this (eg. facility has poor power history/performance), that means that areas of the facility will get *very* hot during a UPS failure. Consider if a generator doesn't start, that means from the time that the power fails, until the UPS is depleted (5-20 minutes in most circumstances), the primary UPS is pumping out power for the servers, and a LOT of heat off the batteries/transformers/etc. (ramping up as the voltage drops on the battery strings). This heat has nowhere to go, as the HVAC's wont be operational. By the time the primary UPS is depleted, the facility is going to be hot. Cabinet mounted UPS's will simply dump more heat into the equation, potentially toasting their gear, and other customers gear in the process.
    Very good point. This is why in a larger datacenter the UPS is not going to be on the floor, but in a separate room not only due to the possibility of requiring a huge battery bank, but also to isolate the heat it produces to prevent infiltration onto the floor.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by notmove View Post
    okay, got it. Is there anything that is safe or really nothing at all?
    I imagine you could possibly use an automatic transfer switch, where if power from the datacenter stops flowing, it could switch to source power from a UPS in your rack. But again an ATS may consider UPS or generator power to be a brownout, just like a UPS... I haven't tried that. Then you also have to consider the instantaneous load placed on the UPS in that configuration might be enough trip it's breaker.

    But you'd still have to get clearance for that equipment in your rack.

    So best bet is to talk to your datacenter about your needs. Ask if they test their UPS and generators on a regular basis. You can also ask for an SLA (make sure it includes power). And as a last resort, you can always get business continuity insurance if you'll be losing enough money during any downtime to justify it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enteligent-Rob View Post
    I imagine you could possibly use an automatic transfer switch, where if power from the datacenter stops flowing, it could switch to source power from a UPS in your rack. But again an ATS may consider UPS or generator power to be a brownout, just like a UPS... I haven't tried that. Then you also have to consider the instantaneous load placed on the UPS in that configuration might be enough trip it's breaker.

    But you'd still have to get clearance for that equipment in your rack.

    So best bet is to talk to your datacenter about your needs. Ask if they test their UPS and generators on a regular basis. You can also ask for an SLA (make sure it includes power). And as a last resort, you can always get business continuity insurance if you'll be losing enough money during any downtime to justify it.
    I am still confused. How would having your own power source help if the rest of the data center is offline? I would make sure all your controllers have battery-backed cache and trust your data center. If you can't trust your data center's infrastructure then why are you there?

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdmoNet View Post
    I am still confused. How would having your own power source help if the rest of the data center is offline? I would make sure all your controllers have battery-backed cache and trust your data center.
    Yeah, the only good it would do is to possibly give more time to shutdown to avoid data corruption. Unless the power failure was isolated to your floor/suite/cage/rack then the whole network could possibly be down as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by AdmoNet View Post
    If you can't trust your data center's infrastructure then why are you there?
    Exactly. It would probably be cheaper to be in a good DC than have to prepare for all the issues you might experience in a bad one.

  24. #24
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    Whoops.

    A point I missed here. If your DC's power has gone down, the other consideration is, how are you routing?

    Any core router, is going to take about as long to come back online after an incident, as a well configured *nix server (less fsck).

    Theres no point to keeping equipment online (potentially damaging it from heat), if it's got nowhere to route the packets. As already mentioned, if you're really concerned, triple check all configs, make sure you will always boot without issue, and install a BBU on your RAID card as necessary.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven View Post
    It is NOT adviseable to put a ups in series with another ups.

    The reason is harmonics. It is possible to create line distortion if you plug a second ups into a line already protected by a ups. This overheat the second UPS and cause problems, also potentially a fire.
    Correct. Sure you *can* do it but you start to get problems with the line which can wander up the input. I work at a UPS manufacturer and we once put a few small units (3kVA) into series and noticed the distortion affect other stuff on the same circuit. Granted at large scale you'll have isolation transformers.
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  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by notmove View Post
    Okay, wow you guys are crazy. Lets say, if a DC goes down and there no power at all (Something not working right obliviously), what can i use to keep my servers online? A battery wont work?
    Well, if the whole DC goes down, that means their routers probably have losed power connection as well, so there is no point on having your servers powered if they are not connected to the Internet right?

    You should go with a fully redundant facility, not only for networking but for power as well. Want to take it to the next level? Use 2 facilities in mirroring.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven View Post
    It is NOT adviseable to put a ups in series with another ups.

    The reason is harmonics. It is possible to create line distortion if you plug a second ups into a line already protected by a ups. This overheat the second UPS and cause problems, also potentially a fire.
    I don't believe this is true unless it is a rack UPS to a rack ups. Any large 3 phase UPS shouldn't have an issue with a rack mount getting a feed from it.

    I have seen this in many many DC's. I can't believe they can all be wrong. I am aware ups to ups is bad but not when you are talking DC UPS to rack mount.
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  28. #28
    I just asked and one the DC I use doesn't allow this as well

    The reply was simple. That they don't allow personal UPS of any kind as it can potentially cause power frequency mismatch issues.

  29. #29
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    1) fire code: NFPA 645-10 & 645-11 state that UPSs above 750 VA installed into a room protected by EPO must be wired to shut-down upon operation of the room EPO. That requires your host running an EPO control wire out to your cabinet. Your host will not be keen on running EPO control wires to equipment they don't control.

    2) safety to you and your neighbors: some people don't change their batteries every 3 years, and some VRLA batteries are just low quality consumer grade. When they go bad, they can swell, heat-up, vent gas or fluid, and even trip smoke detectors (ala Fischer Plaza's VRLA battery room). A room that has VRLA batteries in every 10th cabinet has a higher risk of service outage for the whole room.

    3) electrical noise. UPSes put nice, clean power onto the downstream side, but feed-back noise to the utility service. If the UPS is in your rack, you're feeding-back noise to the 208v side of the PDU serving you, where it will be seen on every branch circuit served by the same phase as your circuit. Your neighobrs don't want to see the wash from your UPS.

    4) effectiveness. No rack-mount UPS has the same up-time as a datacenter UPS. Putting a 4-nines consumer UPS in-between you and a 5-nines datacenter UPS with N+1 battery strings will lower your uptime. A rack-mount ATS has higher MTTF than rack-mount UPS, but is still only in the same order of magnitude as a datacenter UPS, and no better than the datacenter UPS.

    That said, I think many datacenters do permit installation of rack-mount UPSes, or look the other way. I have actually done it myself, to meet 2N UPS requirements in single-UPS facilities. But please be polite and ask for a branch circuit from a mechanical distribution panel (on generator, but not on UPS).
    Last edited by speedcolo; 10-31-2009 at 01:43 PM.

  30. #30
    peedcolo

    Thank you for your response. Been looking for that level of explanation for years.

  31. #31
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    What about attaching a battery directly to the ATX PSU? Anyone have any input on that?

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