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Which is the best UPS bypass for a data centre?

Thu 4 Oct 2018

In this video, Jason Yates, Technical Services Manager at power management specialist Riello UPS, explores the two main methods of transferring to UPS bypass and advises data centre managers how to choose which one to use.

Uninterrupted electricity is vital to the success of modern data centres, where even minimal disruptions to a clean and continuous power supply can quickly add up to thousands – or even tens of thousands – of pounds in IT downtime-related losses.

That’s why an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is a key component of all data centres’ critical infrastructure. But what if there’s an issue with the UPS itself? Just like server racks or air conditioning units, they too are complicated pieces of equipment that aren’t immune to fault or failure. It’s why a robust UPS maintenance plan is crucial.

But when the worst does happen, and the UPS can’t adequately support the critical load, it transfers to bypass mode, which provides an automated power path around the unit and sees the load run off mains supply until the UPS is back online.

There are two main UPS bypass methods, with the fundamental difference coming down to the physical location of the bypass in the UPS system.

First up, we have a centralised UPS bypass. As the name suggests, this incorporates a separate bypass cabinet housing a single static bypass switch plus all other bypass components, no matter how many UPSs make up the power protection system.

The alternative is a decentralised UPS bypass, sometimes known as a ‘distributed’ system. In this configuration, each separate UPS has its own dedicated bypass and components.

Which system is right for me?

Fundamentally, both arrangements are perfectly viable in their own right and the choice of which to use is likely to boil down to personal preference and several important factors.

In this Tech Talk video from the Riello UPS YouTube channel, Jason covers the key criteria data centre operators and IT managers should bear in mind. He says the factors that should guide data centre UPS bypass design are reliability, cost, power balancing, and footprint and future-planning.

Watch the full video below and find out the differences data centre managers need to know about centralised and decentralised UPS bypass approaches.


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