There are several different types of power issues that threaten your critical IT infrastructure and any one of them could occur at any time without any prior warning.  An UPS not only provides an uninterruptable power supply, it also provide various types of power protection. We will go through a several conditions and how they are caused and how the right UPS system can help prevent downtime and damage to your IT infrastructure.   

Issue: Black Out or Loss of utility power
Cause: Can be caused by a number of events: lightning strikes, downed power lines, grid over-demands, accidents and natural disasters.  

Issue: Short-term high voltage above 110 per cent of nominal
Cause: Can be caused by a lightning strike and can send line voltages to levels in excess of 6,000 volts. A spike almost always results in data loss or hardware damage.

Issue: Short-term low voltage
Cause: Triggered by the start-up of large loads, utility switching, utility equipment failure, lightning, and power service being insufficient to meet demand. In addition to causing equipment crashes, power sags can also damage hardware. 

Issue: Reduced line voltage for periods ranging from a few minutes to a few days
Cause: Can be caused by an intentional utility voltage reduction to conserve power during peak demand periods or other heavy loads that exceed supply capacity 

Issue: Increased line voltage for periods ranging from a few minutes to a few days
Cause: Triggered by a rapid reduction in power loads, heavy equipment being turned off, or by utility switching. Can result in damage to hardware. 

Issue: High frequency waveform caused by EMI interference
Cause: Can be caused by either RFI or EMI interference generated by transmitters, welding devices, SCR driven printers, lightning, etc. 

Issue: A change in frequency stability
Cause: Resulting from generator or small co-generation sites being loaded and unloaded. Frequency variation can cause erratic operation, data loss, system crashes and equipment damage. 

Issue: Instantaneous under-voltage (notch)
Cause: Normal duration is shorter than a spike and generally falls in the range of nanoseconds. 

Issue: Distortion of the normal line waveform, generally transmitted by nonlinear loads
Cause: Switch mode power supplies, variable speed motors and drives, copiers and fax machines are examples of non-linear loads. Can cause communication errors, overheating and hardware damage.

Which is the Right UPS?

Depending on the level of protection you require based on the above issues, you should consider how critical the application and whether you require complete or partial protection.  Below is a simple way to help you choose which type of UPS matches the level of protection you need.

Standby/Offline UPS
Off Line UPSs primarily protect against three of the nine most common power issues. This basic, cost-effective protection is necessary in order to prevent damage such as data loss, file corruption, flickering lights, hardware damage, and equipment shutoff. For example, if your utility fails you could lose all of your work-in-progress. Off Line UPSs offer a degree of protection. The Vertiv PSA UPS range and the CertaUPS C60 range are recommended and are most commonly used to protect single workstations, CCTV  and point-of-sale (POS) equipment

Line Interactive UPS
Line Interactive UPSs are most effective against five of the nine most common power issues and offer a degree of protection against other power problems. Some of the damages you risk by not using a Line Interactive UPS include premature hardware failure, data loss and corruption, data error, keyboard lockup, storage loss, and system lockup. The Vertiv Edge UPS range and CertaUPS C200/C300 range are recommended for small network systems – all the way up to enterprise networking environments

Online UPS
On Line UPSs provide the most comprehensive complete power protection against all of the above most common power issues. In addition it also provides continuous power to the connected IT devices. In the event of any of the above power issues, the connected IT devices will continue to operate as normal without any disruption to power. It offers the highest level of power protection available and minimizes the opportunity for component stress, burned circuit boards, data crashes and program failures. The Vertiv GXT5 UPS range and the CertaUPS C400/C500/C550 range are always recommended for mission-critical applications like high-end servers, critical network infrastructure, hospitals and voice over IP applications.