Consider power line conditioning for additional protection

Whenever technology is deployed outside of a datacenter, sometimes an uninterruptable power supply isn't enough. IT pro Rick Vanover shares experience leveraging power line conditioning systems.

In the course of deploying IT solutions, we occasionally need to take our technology out of the datacenter. This can be for a remote location which needs server and storage resources or for whatever reason is not located in the datacenter. In my work experience, I had to frequently deploy solutions in remote locations and away from the standard protections of the typical datacenter.

One thing that I observed is that these remote locations did not always have the best power for these servers and storage resources. The power may have been available, meaning that it did not go out frequently; but I frequently ran into situations where the running voltage was significantly higher or lower than the standard outputs associated with 120 or 230 Volt power. This meant that while the power was supposed to be 120 Volts, I remember environments where it would run at 136 or 140 Volts, which is much higher than the expected input. The unfortunate aspect of power that is out of normal range, especially when higher, is that dual input power supplies may not immediately reject the input source. Further, this situation is exasperated when electronic equipment can detect power anomalies. My experience was with PBX telephone equipment and barcode scanners that were having serious issues with power that was out of the normal voltage range.

When I had to deploy solutions to situations with power like this, I would implement a power line conditioning system to combat this situation. A power line conditioning system will take power from a very wide range of inputs and provide out a clean 120 or 230 Volt power source. Further, if a UPS battery would be in use, I would put that behind the line conditioning system to give the ultimate in power protection to solutions deployed outside of a traditional datacenter where these benefits are standard.

Power line conditioning can come in two main ways, one is via a standalone power line conditioner and the other is a UPS battery that provides line conditioning as well. I’ve used both in my experiences, preferring the separate devices. One example is the Tripp-Lite LCR2400; which is a rack-mount unit that would work with my requirements of having a solution contained in a rack.

Have you ever used power line conditioning as part of your deployment kit when IT needs to have a footprint outside of a datacenter? What strategies have you used for the ultimate power protection? Share your comments below.