October 26, 2009

GreenlightUPS - here and everywhere

Ok so I found a cool webapp that allows me to create custom maps. 

A quick export from QBooks and some Excel ifthen and concatenates and presto a map of where I have UPS sales.

Not a bad spread.  But why no sales in Wisconson and Missouri?  Does the power never go out?  Do they have too much money?  Is there a cheddar chese web filter that prevents the GreenlightUPS.com for getting through....

Anyway... GET $40 off if you order a UPS for those states not showing up.

October 25, 2009


It was bound to happen, I started dating a woman and she found out about my online business. Almost immediately, she began to scold me for this blog. Being a lawyer she said … I forget the exact phase something like... grave potential for libelous action.

Since I come from a family of lawyers, I know how best to deal with that advice. How's a'bout this:

October 24, 2009

Bob's is wrong again

I knew I would get it when I made that bold statement about energy savings from a light bulb versus current efficiencies by increasing to 208v.  So here is the math.

Given a server room of 8 servers and 2 upses and 2 fluorescent light fixture... the 208volt efficiencies do exceed the savings of turning the lights out.

59watts x 40hrs a week x 52 weeks @ $0.12 kwh x 2 fixtures = ~$30
Low end estimate of APC's current loss savings ($4 per server per year) x 8 units = ~$32

Big whoop.... thanks RW

But... at $100 more per ups, it still doesnt pay to go to 208volt.

October 23, 2009

120volt versus 208volt

If you can have either, what should it be?

I always recommend 120volt. But....
Choose 208volt for dense server racks that need a lot of power. 208volt provides more Uumph per outlet. (U/o) The main disadvantages are that 208volt units are more money and not all computer equipment can run on 208volt .

However, APC disagrees. Their white paper makes an argument for increased efficiency by going to 208volt . While it is true that units draw less current (amps) when you increased voltage (from 120v to 208) and hence cause less heat... its a paltry amount.

I told a customer recently, that I bet him leaving the light on in the server room causes more heat loss than the savings from 208volt to 120v. I suspect I will get an email from someone shortly proving me wrong.

Two Units or One - balancing your UPS needs

I get this a lot, and I am sure APC says to buy 1 large unit. They always recommend the most expensive option.

APC and other tech people approach it as a technical decision. Yes, one flawless unit that never fails that is supplied by two power inputs like this 30kva unit recently sold is great. One central unit simplifies design, management and looks cool.

I approach the decision as a small business owner and a guy that signs the checks.

Price – Two 5000va units cost $2200. One 10,000va costs $2600. (actually I need to raise that price more to make my point clearer)

Flexibility and Growth – Having two offers more configuration options. Further as you grow, you can upgrade in stages … like buying another 5000va unit.

A dumptruck of batteries OR a generator?

APC has a white paper on everything including the esoteric “Deploying High-Density Zones in a Low-Density Data Center”. But today's discussion is about when to a get a generator versus just keep adding more batteries.

APC says:

the point where a generator begins to have a cost advantage over extended run batteries for a typical 2 kW system is over an hour. When a typical 12 kW system is considered, this point becomes closer to 20 minutes.

When you consider our low prices on UPS battery cabinets and our high prices on electrical service and generators... I would go with the cabinets.

My final point is that one of our Caribbean customers wanted a ups instead of a generator and promptly bought a Symmetra system but then added an array of 32 car batteries.

Preventive Maintenance Contracts and the Nano fiber cloth

Here is another post that I am going to regret.

I dont like PM contracts. Maybe because I am too cheap or too much of a gambler. Ironically, both statements are false... but I still hate PM contracts.

We often get asked to give them in our UPS and electrical business. However, my lack of actuary prowess causes me to way over bid or underbid these ventures.

I think most people can do their own PM. Reading some of the things that PM contractors offer include led to see this gem from one of the big guys.

"The following services are included in our annual service:

<> Clean display with a soft nano fiber cloth”

What the hell is a nano fiber cloth?

Once I learn that and find where to buy one... then we'll start doing PM contracts. Until then use your own shirt sleeve and call me in the morning.

New UPS species found... not unlike the mexican staring frog of southern sri lanka

I know APC has a lot of models. But this creature is pretty cool. Its a 3000va 3U ups that accepts either 120, 208, 230, etc and seems to output 120volt. Its technical name is Smartups Americanus R2X167.

Its not up for sale yet, but maybe I will release it back to the wild later....

Learn more about the frog or the ups