Q

Power spikes causing problems

I need some advice. We have had two problems in the last six months with power spikes knocking down the HP9000 here in the UK. In discussing the problems, I just discovered that the only UPS that they have are inside the HP boxes. They have two cabinets, one processor and one disk, with each having its own UPS. Apparently, the first problem actually caused a UPS to fail and have to be replaced. The last time, it caused both UPSs to...

blow their internal circuit breakers. Do we need a separate power conditioning UPS?

It's not clear from your question, but it sounds as if the UPSs are single points of failure (SPOFs) for your HP systems. If that's true, it's not a good thing.

am not familiar with the specific UPSs that HP puts inside their system boxes, but with any UPS you need to ensure that it has sufficient capacity for the load you are putting on them. As you add more hardware to your system, you need to increase the capacity of the UPS. Otherwise, it will not work as advertised.

If the UPSs that you have do not condition power, and cannot handle power spikes, then yes, you most certainly need to protect your systems against power spikes. In general, computer systems are pretty vulnerable to power spikes; they can cause serious damage if not properly protected.

Hope this helps.

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This was first published in March 2002
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