We see a lot of e-rate RFP’s that simply request a UPS for their switching closet – typically a 1500VA unit. While this may have been fine in years past before the advent of PoE, PoE+, and more recently, PoE++ switches, a 1500VA unit won’t keep a 48-port PoE++ switch operating very long, especially when it is loaded up with cameras, door readers, phones, and other devices that require significant power.

Keeping the Network Flowing: Why Large Battery Backups are Crucial for PoE Switch Closets

Imagine this: you’re working away, emails flying, deadlines looming, when suddenly…darkness. The power’s out! Panic sets in as your computer sputters and dies. But wait, a light flickers on your desk – your phone! It’s connected to a network powered by a robust battery backup, keeping you afloat in the digital sea of lost productivity.

This scenario highlights the critical role of Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) in network switch closets, especially those running Power over Ethernet (PoE) switches. Here’s why having a fairly large battery backup is essential:

1. Uninterrupted Power for PoE Devices: Unlike traditional switches, PoE switches deliver both data and power to connected devices like IP cameras, wireless access points, and VoIP phones. A power outage severs not just the internet connection, but also the essential functions of these devices. A large battery backup ensures these devices remain operational, maintaining security, communication, and critical business functions.

2. Smooth Network Transitions: Power outages can wreak havoc on network equipment. Sudden shutdowns can corrupt data, damage hardware, and lead to lengthy restarts. A large battery backup provides enough time for the network to gracefully shut down or switch to backup power, preventing data loss and minimizing downtime.

3. Protecting Sensitive Equipment: Network switches are delicate pieces of technology susceptible to power surges and fluctuations. A large battery backup acts as a buffer, filtering out harmful power irregularities and safeguarding your equipment from damage.

4. Extended Runtime for Critical Situations: Not all outages are created equal. Some can last for minutes, while others stretch into hours. Having a large battery backup provides extended runtime, ensuring your network stays online even during prolonged power cuts. This is crucial for businesses that rely on uninterrupted network access for operations, security, or emergency response.

Choosing the Right Backup:

So, how large a battery backup do you need? It depends on several factors:

  • Number of PoE devices: More devices translate to higher power consumption, requiring a larger battery.
  • PoE power draw: Different devices have varying power requirements. Calculate the total PoE load to determine the necessary backup capacity.
  • Desired runtime: Aim for a backup that can sustain your network for the longest outage you anticipate.

Investing in a large battery backup for your PoE switch closet might seem like an extravagance, but it’s an investment in network resilience, business continuity, and peace of mind. Remember, when the lights go out, a robust backup ensures your network keeps shining.

Additional Considerations:

  • Regular maintenance: Ensure the battery backup is regularly serviced and batteries replaced to maintain optimal performance.
  • Remote monitoring: Consider systems that allow remote monitoring of battery health and power conditions for proactive maintenance.
  • Scalability: Opt for solutions that can scale to accommodate future network growth.

By carefully considering your needs and implementing the right backup solution, you can ensure your network remains robust and reliable, even in the face of power disruptions.

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