Managed Ups/Power Strip

Do any of you currently use a manged ups or managed power strip? I am trying to curb a rising trend of other business/users piggbacking their devices onto the UPS that we install with our systems. The effects of others utilizing the equipment are of course, less backup time, equipment getting powered down to arrange cords etc. Although I don't believe I can fully prevent this from happening I can believe I can minimize it. Ubiquiti has mPower which is a managed power strip but I am unable to find a managed UPS.

I am curious if any of you encounter the same issues as I have stated above and what you have done to manage it.

I have this lightweight one at home from APC, the GS Pro. Though Pro is a bit of an overstatement, since when fully loaded you get about 5 minutes before it tanks. I use it to shutdown a Control-4 system automatically. I've never done it myself, but from the web interface you can disable/enable outlets for backup while leaving them with direct power. I imagine that they have higher capacity ones.

Maybe only enable the outlets you require with battery backup and leave the others on just surge. If somebody uses a spare outlet without permission, well I guess then they'll get what they deserve...

I agree with the APC recommendation as it is a nice managed UPS--effectively a managed power strip with battery backup. (Full disclosure, APC and Pelco are the same company.) We have been using this UPS since its prototype stages and include it as an option with our systems. While we're probably unusual in that our equipment is designed for low-power, we can run an entire system (switch, recorder, cameras) off of this UPS for almost 30 minutes.

The UPS is fully managable and designed for not only control of equpment and ports but also monitoring and optimizing power consumption.

I'm not sure how to solve the problem of ppl piggybacking on your (or this) UPS though.

A low tech way of handling this issue may be to cover the additional ports with child protective inserts. You could even place a label on them stating the port is dead/bad.

I am trying to curb a rising trend of other business/users piggbacking their devices onto the UPS that we install with our systems.

You might take a look at the range of Lockout/Tagout program compliant safety plugs. By definition, that federally mandated safety program is supposed to prevent accidents by energizing unsafe equipment.

It's not high-tech, but most people will not monkey around with locked out plug simply because it is unlawful to do so.

I'll look later to see if I can find an outlet plug lock, but I am very confident they are available.

I don't know if it's universal, but there are several UPSes which allow you to control individual outlets. Middle Atlantic UPSes with the add-on network card have these options:

I believe you can do the same with Minuteman models with the add-on SNMP card, if I remember correctly. And I think you can do so on APC Smart-UPS, but not sure how that workflow goes.

In some, you may only be able to control outlet banks, not individual outlets, so it's not quite as configurable. And in others, you can reboot outlets, but not straight up turn them off.

One low-tech possible solution to this: is it possible to plug in some power cords to unused UPS outlets? Just run them from the UPS to the general direction of the servers or switches and hide the IEC end and I'd bet no one would unplug them!

Hi Keefe, Aviosys make a range of single, 4-port and 8-port remote power switches, i.e. effectively a managed power strip. They call them their IP Power products. They do not include a UPS but you could connect one to a UPS and then manage the individual ports. Their website and products look equally ugly but the products do look useful.

I have not used Aviosys products so cannot comment on how well they work. However I am interested in them because of their auto-ping feature. You can configure the Aviosys device to regularly ping a device on your network such as a router. If no ping is returned, the Aviosys device can power cycle the router, server, switch, etc. That seems like a pretty handy feature.

I hope this helps you.