Tripp Lite's compact Unison UPS keeps users out of the dark

Tripp Lite's compact Unison UPS keeps users out of the dark

By John Breeden II

GCN Staff

If you have an uninterruptible power supply and someone asks the old question about where you were when the power went out, your answer might not be, 'In the dark.'

A UPS is insurance. Nobody wants to bother with it until it's needed, but then it's often too late. If you must protect a network, the need is even greater, because if a server crashes, everyone connected to it is out of luck.

Compact power

An enterprise environment'especially one running Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, which can have multiple host servers'requires a hefty UPS for protection.

The typical personal UPS probably would not provide enough power for even a few minutes of emergency backup. And the load balance meter on the UPS would likely trip anyhow.

Tripp Lite has introduced a new line of UPSes designed to keep networks running in a power emergency. The GCN Lab tested the Unison SU1000.

The Unison SU1000RT provides a hefty load of clean power and emergency backup power in a compact package. The UPS is slim and can be mounted vertically or horizontally.

The most noticeable thing about the SU1000 is its compact size. You can mount the slim black case horizontally into a rack or use it vertically in a tower configuration. It's less than 5 inches tall and 18 inches wide when horizontal. That gives it an impressive power-to-size ratio, a primary factor to consider when selecting a UPS.

It works by taking incoming AC power from a wall outlet and converting it to filtered DC power. Then it converts DC power to distortion-free, frequency-controlled AC power. The process isolates the equipment plugged into the UPS from power spikes and dips, as well as providing a cache of emergency battery power.

Even when incoming voltage drops as low as 70 volts, the UPS still provides 120-volt AC power, so it performs a valuable power-cleaning function in nonemergency situations.

Ironically, the week I tested the UPS was filled with power spikes and even one instance where the building power went off.

Box Score

Unison SU1000RT

UPS for large network services

Tripp Lite; Chicago;

tel. 777-869-1111

Price: $799

+ Small footprint

+ Alphanumeric paging in case of problems

+ Power regulation

+ Large emergency power supply

The UPS never stopped providing clean power. The 30-pound unit can handle a heavy load. I plugged in three computer systems and a 21-inch monitor and saw only a 25 percent to 50 percent load. When I disconnected it from wall current, the unit continued to provide power for 29 minutes.

The management software saved all open documents and shut down the computers well before the power ran out. It did so without any intervention from me. Plus, the Unison UPS comes with an adapter for attaching an external battery pack if you need even longer run times.

Tripp Lite has improved the software that it packages with its UPSes. System administrators can receive alphanumeric pager messages and e-mail if there is a power outage.

The alphanumeric message can provide the sysadmin with details about the power problem'even at home at 3 a.m.

The Tripp Lite software also can monitor UPSes over a network, even those made by other companies. You can change configurations from the Tripp Lite console.

The slim design of the Unison case hides a real workhorse. And the price, $799, is lower than you might expect.

No doubt, some users will balk at paying $800 to prepare for an emergency that might never happen, but we all know where those people will be when the power goes out.


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