How do I configure a UPS to suit the customer's needs?
When configuring a UPS, consult the customer about the pattern of electricity interruptions in the area and their electricity provider's service record.
If the electric supply is prone to brief interruptions (for example, in an area that suffers electrical storms), you may need to configure the UPS to enable the customer to ride out short power outages -- say, two or three minutes -- before triggering the power-off alarm. By preventing the UPS from crying wolf at short interruptions, you can reduce the likelihood of a short power outage causing the user to shut down the computer.
By contrast, if the electric supply is normally stable, set a shorter warning interval to allow the user as much warning as possible of the problem.
Ensure that the user knows approximately how much runtime the UPS will give and how to shut the PC down under control. Also tell the user if you've delayed the warning -- otherwise, when the building's power goes out and the lights fail, they may think the UPS is not working.
In case the user is not present, configure the UPS's software to shut down the PC automatically a certain number of minutes after sounding the alarm. Keep this period well within the supposed runtime of the UPS to prevent any unpleasant surprises.
This was first published in August 2008