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Power Protection
Power protection moves to the desktop.

Power protection isn't just for the server anymore. It's true that about 70 percent of servers are connected to uninterruptible power supply (UPS) devices, while the percentage of UPS-equipped desktops is in the low teens. But that number's on the rise, and when you consider the number of desktop PCs being sold, that translates to more UPS devices, too.

One reason for increased desktop UPS use is the nature of the work we do. Applications like telephony and late-night Internet downloads mean desktop computers remain turned on more than ever before. A UPS, often with some software control, can provide an unattended orderly shutdown--and help protect your data--in the event of a power failure.

Manufacturers have responded with features and form factors that suit the new personal-use market. Many have developed products often referred to as "surge suppressors on steroids." Suppressors merely condition the power line to which they are connected, removing spikes and sags that can damage sensitive electronic equipment. For desktop users, vendors have beefed up suppressors to provide short-term battery backup--just enough time to shut down your apps safely.

If your computer runs unattended, you'll need one of the new smart UPS units that use software to handle chores like shutting off the monitor at predefined times, staging shutdowns and power-ups, and warning when the battery is low.

More features are on the way. Look for UPS devices with Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports, so you can control them without using up a serial port.

Future operating systems present a challenge to UPS makers. Microsoft's On-Now technology, for instance, poses a conundrum. If the computer is in a sleep state and connected to a UPS, what should the UPS do if there's a power failure? Wake the computer only to shut it down? Vendors working with Microsoft say they'll solve this puzzle by the time the next version of Windows ships.


Power Protection: Introduction

Copyright © 1997 CMP Media Inc.