UPS meets new network technology
- By John Moore
- Jul 12, 2004
The recently standardized power-over-Ethernet (POE) approach is getting a boost from an old standby: uninterruptible power supplies.
POE, as the name implies, provides power via Ethernet cables. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. ratified POE as a standard called 802.3af last year. POE facilitates voice-over-IP deployments because it eliminates the need to plug IP phones into electrical outlets. The approach removes electrical wiring and outlet installation costs from the voice-over-IP equation.
Where do uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) come into play? With POE, organizations that use UPS to protect local-area networks can also use the battery backup system to protect voice-over-IP equipment. Similarly, surveillance cameras running on the network can benefit from UPS.
"POE and UPS are complementary technologies," said Richard Bauer, president of PowerDsine Inc., a POE technology vendor. In a POE/UPS scenario, an organization deploys an Ethernet switch with an integrated POE chip or a midspan device that contains a POE integrated circuit and works in tandem with a conventional Ethernet switch, Bauer said. A UPS device is attached to the switch or to both the switch and midspan.
Thus attached, the UPS provides a single point of backup for power in case of brownouts or power outages, Bauer said.