A new generation of UPS to power edge computing

Schneider Electric - Businesses in Singapore and the region are investing in distributed IT systems and turning to edge computing environments to support surging digitisation. As IT infrastructure moves from centralised data centres to branch offices or remote, unstaffed locations, the pressure is on to ensure that their current infrastructure can cope.

Fortunately, modern uninterruptible power supply (UPS) has evolved to meet the power requirements of edge computing sites.

A new generation of UPS 

Availability and resilience are core requirements of IT systems, including at edge deployments. However, the latter are typically space-constrained, which necessitates the use of a more compact UPS model with greater power density to work. Ideally, they are not limited to racks, offering greater deployment flexibility.

This is where the latest lithium-ion UPS are a game-changer given their superior lifespan of up to ten years of maintenance-free usage. In comparison, traditional lead-acid UPSs not only have much shorter lifespans but must be periodically maintained. With no need to visit a site except to replace a unit, the result is a 50% savings in the total cost of ownership, especially in highly distributed environments.

Moreover, the latest UPS typically also offer cloud-based connectivity, ensuring that businesses can remote track and manage deployed systems. For companies with numerous branch offices or retail locations, the productivity gains can be significant, especially for businesses with offices in rural or hard-to-get-to locations.

Features to look out for

For organisations with edge locations or multiple branch offices, here are some capabilities that they should look out for.

Connectivity: A connected UPS offers a constant stream of data that can be monitored from a central console. With up-to-date information about the health and performance data of deployed UPS, businesses can react quickly to anomalies and address them before they can impact the business. 

Flexible installation options: Many space-starved branch offices might not have a dedicated server room for the UPS. Instead, the UPS might have to fit in under a desk or be mounted on a wall. The availability of various form factors or flexible installation options can make a big difference.

Graceful shutdown: Go for a UPS that can initiate a graceful shutdown of associated servers and storage appliances before its available backup power runs out. This typically necessitates built-in support and accompanying server but will ensure that the organisation’s data is protected against inadvertent data loss or corruption.

Warranty: Finally, be sure to review the terms of the warranty for your new UPS. The industry standard for lithium-ion UPSs is pegged at five years, but the terms of warranties might vary. Be sure to go with a provider that will address both the UPS and battery replacement.

Modern lithium-ion UPS offer high-density power in compact footprints and can scale to 3kW per 1U or 5kW in 2U. Learn more about the different types of UPS systems from this Schneider Electric white paper here.

Article by Michael Kurniawan, Vice President - Singapore, Malaysia & Brunei, Secure Power Division, Schneider Electric


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