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UPS recommendations?
2013-07-08, 21:10
Post: #1
UPS recommendations?
I've had a couple of power cuts in the past week, the last one giving me a real headache as far as the network and NAS were concerned. Time to get a UPS methinks. Any suggestions would be very welcome.....

Also, any clues on how to separate out the "live" albums that have subsequently grouped themselves together on the NAS since the power cuts?

Thanks

Dave
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2013-07-09, 00:22
Post: #2
RE: UPS recommendations?
(2013-07-08 21:10)Dave J Wrote:  I've had a couple of power cuts in the past week, the last one giving me a real headache as far as the network and NAS were concerned. Time to get a UPS methinks. Any suggestions would be very welcome.....

Also, any clues on how to separate out the "live" albums that have subsequently grouped themselves together on the NAS since the power cuts?

Thanks

Dave

Hi, I have a couple, one a Belkin which is till going after many years, and a dead APC, which needs new batteries etc. the APC worked really well for a very long time, and it covered my server and workstation(PC now departed) and the Belkin covers my iMac. Either in my experience has worked well, and, like you, we get a lot of power outs in our village, lots in the summer, and even more in the winter. We just stock up on candles and food supplies for the winter.....the joys of rural living.
Brian

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2013-07-09, 09:59 (This post was last modified: 2013-07-09 10:27 by Briain.)
Post: #3
RE: UPS recommendations?
Hi

The choice depends on the answer to two questions; is it on your NAS vendors compatibility list and what to you wish it to do?

UPS - NAS Compatibility (have they been tested together by the NAS vendor)

First point is because the NAS links to it via a USB cable such that the NAS can be told to shut down gracefully after a certain amount of time running on battery. This is important as if the power fails while you are out - and it is a long outage - then the UPS battery will run it for a while, then cut off before the battery goes completely flat (this is necessary to protect the battery; if you totally drain a UPS battery that is over a couple of years old, the chances are that it won't charge up again). If that happens, the NAS will just be killed in the same way it would have been killed without a UPS (only a little be later). With the USB link in place, you see - in the NAS settings - how long the estimated run time (on batteries) would be, then you can set it to close down gracefully at a time short of that estimated maximum running time (the time is calculated by the UPS, and it is based upon the load it sees being taken its battery size, etc; this is the info the NAS acts upon and that is why it must me one chosen from your NAS vendors compatibility list).

Running time (and what else it could be used for)

Second point is exactly what you want to use it for. That covers run time (whether you just want something that will power the NAS for a few minutes, then it will shut down, or an hour, then it will shut down). The first scenario is fine for most folks (10 or 15 minutes is a good enough time to cover the building RCD tripping and you finding the torch to go and reset it).

Adding to the second point (what its for) you might also wish to feed some other devices from that UPS. For example, I use WiFi VoIP phones, so I feed my router and WAP from the UPS (so the phones still work when the power fails) but my WAP is plugged directly into the router, so I don't bother feeding the network switch from my UPS; it just fails with the main power (that works well for my setup as the router has Gigabit switch ports, so to doesn't matter whether I use its internal switch or my external one for the WAP). I have quite a large UPS which could run all these things for about 1 hour, but I still set the NAS to switch itself off after only 10 minutes (to lower battery drain and thus keep my phone system running for as long as possible).

Design quality (some more 'esoteric' thoughts)

As to 'quality', as long as it is on the compatibility list, any UPS would be absolutely fine for a NAS, but the cheaper ones have a very 'rough' output (nothing like a sine wave) and that is okay for a NAS, as they use a SMPS (which don't mind rough mains quality). I got a better quality UPS which puts out something far more like a sine wave (the specs claim distortion is under 5%) as it means I can - if required - power things that aren't so happy about rough mains waveforms (things with transformers and conventional 'linear' power supplies). With mine, you can even use a small waveform corrector on the output and it totally 'silences' it (when using an AudioPrism tester) which is just a really nice thing to have. In my case, its output feeds a distant appliance, so I was concerned about that long mains cable (with lots of high frequency hash on it) acting like an antenna (and generating radio noise), so that was another reason why I decided to get one with a much 'cleaner' mains output.

Used or new

If buying a used one, check the data stamps on the battery pack as they only last about 5 years (and replacement aren't that cheap) but it's also a good way to get a better model for very little outlay. You could argue that one nearer 5 years old has negative value (costs more to scrap)

In the end, I got a 6 year old APC SmartUPS 750, and all it needed was a replacement battery pack (that one uses two burglar alarm type sealed lead acid batteries) and it now works beautifully (the batteries last about 5 years). I elected to go for genuine APC battery packs, and whilst they were quite expensive (WTR burglar alarm batteries) they were from the top 'standby battery' manufacturer (ie the one we used when I was at BT) and they were very 'fresh' (not been sitting on a shelf for a year; they'd been manufactured only a few weeks ago) so I was very happy with that outcome.

I haven't checked prices for a couple of years, but I think my UPS retailed at about £210 (as it was 'dead', I paid £20 for mine, but that was agreed as being refundable should it work when a new battery was fitted). The replacement battery pack came with its connecting harness kit, and that cost something like £70. I think you could get a couple of sealed lead acid equivalents for neared £25 (and just use the old plugs and harness) and that's likely what I will do, next time it fails.

Bri
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2013-07-09, 12:20
Post: #4
RE: UPS recommendations?
Bri,

I am indebted to you. Thanks very much indeed for your comprehensive guide.

I contacted Ultimate Storage, the NAS vendor, who directed me to the QNAP compatibility guide (I'm using a 219P II) and the choice, from an affordable point of view is the APC Back-Ups 550 (about £55-60) or the Smart-UPS 750 that you're using (about £200). Although the 750 is a lot more, in the overall scheme of things I'd be happy to spend that amount if it was clearly a better option. Would you recommend that?

I'm only going to run the NAS on, I could put the switch on it but the hi-fi router is in another room, so there's probably no point.

Cheers
Dave
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2013-07-09, 13:17 (This post was last modified: 2013-07-09 13:40 by Briain.)
Post: #5
RE: UPS recommendations?
Hi Dave

That will work fine. There isn't really a need to go for the SmartUPS series unless you specifically wish to have the sine wave output and/or longer up times.

Before I procured the 750, I had one of the white ones (they cost about £85 and came in a nicer box) but it looks like they have changed most of their product range (the nearest I could find to my previous one is this one, but as you have seen, it isn't on the Qnap list). I guess the range change must be quite recent as the only APC ones remaining on the Qnap list are the ones which are carried over from from the previous model line up (i.e. models that haven't been replaced).

Of course, the Qnap links are all to 120V ones, so strictly speaking, that means there are no UK APC ones on the compatibility list, but in reality, you just have to find the equivalent UK model to the ones shown on the list (assuming you are living in the UK of course). If you are unsure which that is, let me know and I'll double check (or drop an email to APC).

Now that the Qnap list is so short (and contains none of the 'mid-capacity' and 'white range' models), I'm tempted to email APC and ask for their thoughts on compatibility (i.e. which have the same control functionality to the ones Qnap have tested, or which will behave like my SmartUPS 750). I'd bet the answer that comes back would be that all the models which have UPS communication will be using the same protocols (it would be surprising if not) and should thus work, but again, they aren't on the Qnap list so you'd have to check with APC (and couldn't then complain to Qnap if they didn't; not that that would do much good, anyway).

Actually, I think I will email APC and ask about that one I've linked to, as it is information that I really do need to know about for other folks installations that I'm likely to work on (I'd expect it will be the same spec as my previous one). I'll let you know if anything interesting comes from it (maybe later today).

Bri
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2013-07-09, 14:15 (This post was last modified: 2013-07-09 14:18 by Dave J.)
Post: #6
RE: UPS recommendations?
Hi Bri,

That's great, many thanks. Yes, I'm in the UK. East Sussex, so around 50 miles from London therefore out in the sticks as far as BT (crap broadband) and the electricity suppliers are concerned!

Cheers
Dave

Your link was to the UPS that I use in the office and I could get one for a really good price so would happily use one at home.
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2013-07-09, 15:26 (This post was last modified: 2013-07-09 15:51 by Briain.)
Post: #7
RE: UPS recommendations?
(2013-07-09 14:15)Dave J Wrote:  Hi Bri,

That's great, many thanks. Yes, I'm in the UK. East Sussex, so around 50 miles from London therefore out in the sticks as far as BT (crap broadband) and the electricity suppliers are concerned!

Cheers
Dave

Your link was to the UPS that I use in the office and I could get one for a really good price so would happily use one at home.

Hi

I guess you could always sneak your NAS in and hook it up to the USB port to see if your NAS recognises it; that would answer the Question better than Qnap can!! Big Grin

Bri

PS I have just sent APC the below question:

I use one of your excellent SUA750I as my Qnap NAS UPS. This is connected to the NAS via USB and thus the NAS shows estimated battery up-time, and it can be set to shut down X minutes after a power failure.

At other customer locations, I have used one of your less expensive models (and again, these communicated with Netgear and Qnap's older devices). It appears that the model I used before (I can't recall the model number) has been superseded, probably with the BK650EI. The Qnap compatibility list (link at end) now only shows a few APC units and I wondered if you could answer a couple of questions that I have?

1. Would it be correct to assume that if the Qnap can interface to my (6 year old) Smart-UPS 750, that it will correctly recognise the BK650E and interpret conditions sent to it from the BK650E (test activities, estimated run time and that it has a mains power failure, such that the shut down can be initiated after X minutes)?

2. Would it be safe to assume that as the Qnap NAS's have been successfully tested with the 5 models shown on their compatibility sheet, any APC UPS with a USB interface will successfully communicate with the Qnap NAS products as all APC models use identical USB protocols?

Thank you in advance.
Kind regards
Briain

Qnap tested UPS list: http://www.qnap.com/useng/index.php?lang...&g=4&gc=49
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2013-07-09, 15:54
Post: #8
RE: UPS recommendations?
If it helps I have a APC Back-UPS ES 550 UPS used for QNAP TS-210 2 Bay Turbo which is not a million miles from your proposed set up and it has both kept the power going and then successfully powered down.

Ben

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2013-07-09, 16:03
Post: #9
RE: UPS recommendations?
Good news, thanks
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2013-07-09, 17:57 (This post was last modified: 2013-07-09 18:00 by Briain.)
Post: #10
RE: UPS recommendations?
(2013-07-09 14:15)Dave J Wrote:  Hi Bri,

That's great, many thanks. Yes, I'm in the UK. East Sussex, so around 50 miles from London therefore out in the sticks as far as BT (crap broadband) and the electricity suppliers are concerned!

Cheers
Dave

Your link was to the UPS that I use in the office and I could get one for a really good price so would happily use one at home.

Hi

I'm still in discussion with APC about that specific model. The hassle is that their later APC UPS models has been designed to communicate with OS for servers and PCs to be compatible with their own UPS software package (that's why they also have some OS - like Apple - that is incompatible with their software).

In the case of Qnap, they have designed their own 'package' which hooks into the UPS in the same way that APC's software does, so it's not possible for APC to 'speak' for Qnap.

All that said, they agree with my thinking in that the basic commands for the UPS comms should be the same for all models (makes sense, otherwise some of their products would not talk to their own software) and this the USB ones should all work, but again, they can't come out and say that as it is something outside of their control.

I have asked specifically if the BK650EI is any different to the ones that are known to work as that's the sort of price range (and capacity) that makes it a very good choice for some of my customers (it is only £119) so we will see how they respond to that follow-up question.

As I mentioned before, if you could take your NAS to work and hook it up to the USB port of the APC, you'd immediately see if it recognises it (and you could even try a brief mains off to see if it shows in the Qnap logs; that would prove whether it will shut the NAS down after X minutes, but without having to wait for that to actually happen) but that last bit might not be so cool a plan as far as your IT person is concerned. Of course, if you are his/her boss, that 'concern' aspect doesn't matter! Tongue

Bri
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