GCN LAB REVIEW

SmartPro UPS is made for shallow spaces

SmartPro Shallow-Depth Rackmount UPS System SMART2200CRMXL
Pros: Provides clean power and battery backup, shallow depth
Cons: Bit wider than typical 2200VA UPS
Performance: B+
Ease of use: A
Features: B+
Value: B
Price: $1,325 for UPS, $279 for SNMPWebCard, $170 for Envirosense

Innovation takes many forms. Sometimes it requires reworking the pillars of an industry, and sometimes it just takes a little resizing. The SmartPro Shallow-Depth Rackmount UPS System is an example of the latter.

And given how well SmartPro uninterruptible power supplies devices from TrippLite perform, this is a good thing.

Apparently, some rack enclosures used by the federal government don’t go as deep as typical racks, so inserting a 2200VA UPS is impossible. Tripp Lite went to the drawing board and rearranged the internal components of the SmartPro Shallow-Depth Rackmount. The result is a UPS that trades depth for height.

The unit is 7.5-inches tall, so it takes up more rack space than normal. Given that a standard unit size in a rack is 1.75 inches, it takes up a little more than four units of space, so you would need to allot five units for it. That’s a lot for a 2200VA UPS, but the SmartPro makes up for it by not extending very deep into the rack.

The Shallow-Depth Rackmount is 17.5 inches deep; other 2200VA UPS systems in the lab go back 25 inches. In locations where depth is at a premium but height is not an issue, the SmartPro Shallow-Depth Rackmount can find a home.

Of course, changing the dimensions of a UPS doesn’t do any good if the unit can’t perform, but that is not an issue with the SmartPro Shallow-Depth Rackmount.

We connected an oscilloscope to one of the four load circuits in the back and tried to break the unit’s pure sine wave by plugging in nonstandard appliances, such as a hairdryer, into the other loads. Even when trying to break the pure power being delivered, we were unable to do so. We could only barely hurt the sine wave when test devices were plugged into the same circuit as the oscilloscope. So the new size configuration does not affect performance.

It also does not affect runtime. With 2200VA, you can plug several servers and perhaps even a monitor into the unit and get several minutes of power during a full failure. That is more than enough time for your backup software to power down affected systems. The performance in this area was identical to that of several standard-sized 2200VA units we have tested in the past.

The UPS is $1,325, which is a little pricey but not overly so given the new configuration and level of protection the 2200VA unit offers. For $279 more, you can get an SNMPWebCard, which adds remote management and control functions. This is probably a good option if you don’t feel like visiting a wiring closet or server room every time you need to check the settings on your UPS for battery life and load balance, among other things.

The SmartPro Shallow-Depth Rackmount has another interesting option. For an extra $170, you can add Envirosense sensors. This is a cool addition that lets the UPS measure and record temperature and humidity levels. Although a fully equipped server room would probably have this already, not every closet or information technology space does. Adding the Envirosense to the UPS lets you monitor the room and respond to problems before they become critical. If you observe a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit in your IT room, you had better get down there and figure out why. When combined with the SNMPWebCard, you could make temporary fixes, such as shutting down servers to avoid overheating.

Your decision to purchase a SmartPro Shallow-Depth Rackmount likely will depend on the size of your racks. If you have full-size racks, you will likely go with a typical UPS. But if you have limited depth and plenty of height, the Shallow-Depth model is there for you, and works just as well as other sizes.

Tripp Lite, 773-869-1234, www.tripplite.com

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above