Friday, July 22, 2005

APC (American Power Conversion)

For those who don't know, APC is a well-known manufacturer of power-protection equipement, such as UPSs and Surge protectors. An UPS is like a surge protector (protects your equpment from "too much electricity" (spikes, surges), but it has a battery pack that protect equipment in case of drop of voltage (brownout) or power outages.

I had to deal with APC support yesterday. In fact, I was a troubleshooting an issue for about une week by e-mail and I called them yesterday.

Here is my opinion about APC:

1- They make very good hardware, although I think that Powerware is offering UPSs that have more features (their 9000-serie).
2- I love their live support on their web site. It is probably the thing that makes me buy APC. I can chat directly with a sales rep before buying.
3- I don't like their software. I use Apcupsd on my Linux servers, for a reason. APC's software, PowerChute, will not install on a Linux server without having X installed. I don't install X on my server, I don't need a graphical interface on my servers. And Apcupsd gives me a lot more control. On Windows, I install PowerChute, as I don't want to install + configure cygwim to make Apcupsd work. The thing I hate about this software is that it has 3 components: server, console and agent. They recommend installing all 3 components, but not use the agent. The problem is that there are settings in the agent that are not in the server/console mix and vice-versa. Btw, Powerware's free software seems to be amazing.

APC's Web Site
Powerware's Web Site
Cyberpower's Web Site
Tripplite's Web site

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