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Testing Power Loss And Client Management

Small Business Battery Backup: Eaton's 3,000VA PW5130
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According to the data sheet, the PW5130 can sustain its maximum power output for a period of three minutes, which would typically not even be sufficient to shut down servers. You can extend the “range” of the battery by adding external battery modules (EBMs). This way, you can reach a total bridge time of up to one hour, as all upgrade battery units provide more power than just the 9 Ah included by default.

We hooked up an old dual-processor Xeon machine to the UPS unit, which constantly required 390 W at full load. In this scenario, the PW5130 was able to sustain system operation for a total time of 31 minutes until it had reached 20% battery capacity. Since this level is the minimum threshold, the test ended here. The minimum makes sense, in fact, as the UPS has to ensure a safe shutdown of critical devices at all times.

Client Software: The Network Shutdown Module

If your Powerware PW5130 is properly installed on a host system, you can install the Network Shutdown Module on other systems that may be hooked up to the UPS unit. It is important to select the right proxy to allow for the network system to be shut down by the UPS. In this case, the proxy is the system that is directly attached to the UPS via USB 2.0 or serial port, which runs the master software. In our case, the software did not find the proxy system automatically, so we had to manually enter the IP address, which worked fine. It took a few seconds for the client to display the status information (see the screen shot up top).

It is possible to manually set the shutdown mode or timer, which we found questionable. Although it may be helpful to override the main settings stored on the proxy system, any change to the pre-set timers or modes may disrupt or even completely destroy the intended shutdown strategy. Clearly, the tool should only be accessible to administrators and be left unattended to execute according to the main settings.

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