UPS Type - Recommended for Protecting Drobo ?

I have recently gotten serious about setting up a best practice backup setup for my pc and that is why I bought the Drobo S, as my external drive backup strategy.

… Now that I am happy with the Drobo S and beyondraid protection it provides, I have recently started to think about a UPS to ensure file system integrity, in case of a power outage occurrence during the time period that either the Drobo drive is being written to in normal usage or during a rebuild/relayout period, etc.

… It is my understanding, from reading threads on this forum, posted by experts, that:
1) Both the PC and Drobo should be connected to a UPS.
2) The UPS software should be set to shut down/hibernate the PC on a power loss.
3) Following your computer shut down, the Drobo drive will go into standby mode. During the shutdown process data in filght to the Drobo is transferred safely.
4) Follwing your PC shuts down, the UPS then runs out of power and the Drobo drive safely shuts down from the standby mode.

Therefore, …


1. Which type of UPS is recommended and/or best for protecting the Drobo S, - A Standby UPS or Line-Interactive UPS ?

2. Also, I have my Drobo S attached to a Notebook pc which when docked at the desk, acts as my desktop pc replacement ? Does anyone know whether a UPS can be used on a notebook/laptop pc without issues ?

  1. standby is fine, line interactive tends to be more for servers (as a very rough rule of thumb).

  2. yes it can

  1. +1 Docchris - standby is fine.
    Line-interactive does more “cleaning” of the power supplied to the components, under/over-voltage regulation, filtering, etc.
    Standby UPSes just switch to battery when the utility power fails.
    Line-interactive UPSes in the past have tended to be less efficient as they’re always doing something.

  2. Yes, that’s fine. As long as the UPS is connected to the notebook PC and the notebook PC has some kind of software that monitors the UPS status, when utility power fails, the notebook PC will “know” and it can trigger whatever behavior you have the monitoring software configured for (normally shutdown or hibernate).

Docchris, bhiga,

I have another question listed below.
… Thanks for info/explanations !

… bhiga, Docchris,

Hmm, I just noticed that when I go to Win Xp’s - control panel, power options that the UPS Tab is missing on this Notebook PC.

1) Do you think that as long as I install a UPS Power Management software that comes bundled with a UPS that the unattended windows shutdown (hibernation option) will work on the notebook pc ?

… I read that APC UPS’s come with software that give you the option of an automated “Hibernation” shutdown.

2) Do you know of any other brands of UPS’s whose bundled power management sofware give you the option of a Windows - Hibernate Shutdown because I think that other than APC most other brands of UPS’s that I have started to research, only offer “normal” shutdown of windows ???

  1. Built-in Windows support for UPSes went away with Vista anyway, so best to get used to using whatever software comes with the UPS.

If you have an APC UPS, use the APC software - I don’t believe it cares whether you’re on a notebook or desktop, nor should it matter.

If your UPS didn’t come with software or the software is incompatible with your version of Windows, try UPS Assistant - it’s free and worked great for my Belkin UPS over USB on both Vista and Windows 7.

  1. If the UPS software doesn’t give you choices but allows you to run a command, you can run shutdown -f -s -t 0 to shut down, or use the SysInternals (now part of Microsoft) tool psshutdown to hibernate the computer.


Thanks, for the guidance !!!

Can anyone recommend a UPS that has Mac compatible software?

I use an APC. OS X automagically recognizes it when you plug it into a USB port, and it shows up in the Energy Saver System Preferences pane. Works great!

I’ll second what AVID said, except I use a model from Cyberpower. OSX automagically sees the UPS via USB and allows you to set the shutdown point as a percentage of battery remaining or in minutes, as well as a few other things.

APC costs more, but they’re the most popular brand, so if you’re looking for cross-platform/app compatibility, that’s probably the better way to go.

I have the newer BX1300G (seems to have been reincarnated as a newer model) that is a slim tower with LCD at the front and “Green features” like controlled outlets (when the load on the Master outlet is switched off, the controlled outlets are turned off).

i would really avoid plugging drobo into a green power outlet - after your computer shutsdown drobo can easily take several more seconds of doing internal housekeeping before it goes into standby - using a greenpower outlet for drobo would result in the power to drobo being cut the instant your computer turned off, possibly before it was safely in standby

Oh my, I’m being confusing again.

Yes, do not plug the Drobo into a controlled outlet (meaning one that gets turned off or on based on another device)!!

There’s only about a 1 second delay between the master load being turned off and the UPS turning off the controlled outlets. You want Drobo to have power all the time, unless there’s no power, in which case you want it to have power for as long as possible after the attached computer shuts down.

its a good job i can do the bhiga to english translations :wink:

Someone’s gotta make sense of me! :smiley:

bhiga, Docchris,

Coming closer to purchasing a UPS for the Drobo S and I have the following technical questions about it:

1. Will the “Drobo S” - Power Brick/Adapter work with “stepped sine wave” and “simulated sine wave” UPS’s ?
… Or, is it necessary to purchase a “pure sinewave” UPS to run the “Drobo S” - Power Brick ?

2. Also, as a general rule, will the Power Brick/Adapters of most PC accessories run with “stepped sine wave” and “simulated sine wave” UPS’s ?

almost all electronics is fine with the stepped. pure sine tends to only be advertised on server products (or possibly high end home audio)

realistically you wont notice a difference


Great !

However, my only concern …

Since, I will be investing in a UPS, I was wondering whether, in the near future, new versions of the Power Bricks used on PC Accessory equipment would become PFC - Power Bricks/Adapters that might not work with “stepped sine wave” or “simulated sine wave” UPS’s ?

… Also, will there be a trend, in the near future, for Desktop PC’s to use PFC - Power Supplies that might not work with “stepped sine wave” or “simulated sine wave” UPS’s ?

Guess I am wondering whether purchasing a “stepped/simulated sine wave” UPS, might quickly have to be thrown away and replaced shortly with a pure sine wave UPS because Desktop PC’s and Accessory Power “Brick”/Adapters of the near future may be released as PFC power supplies ?

I cant imagine a situation where a powerbrick would ever draw a big enough load to warranty active PFC.

plenty of desktop PC’s already have PFC PSUs - mine does - but you can still get perfectly good PSUs which arent PFC, just make sure you buy the appropriate ones. i dont think we are anywhere close to the point where all PSUs are active PFC., and we wont be for many years (if ever)

I said the same as Docchris, just in a PM. :slight_smile:

I have desktops with and without PFC and haven’t had any problem from simulated or pure sine wave on-battery UPS power.

If you’re planning to keep this UPS/battery backup for a while, make sure you get one that had user-replaceable batteries (some of the really cheap battery backup units either aren’t replaceable, or the batteries are difficult to find).

I’ve bought a number of UPSes from RefurbUPS.com - be wary of shipping though - it can really tip the scales.

Having read as much as i could face regarding this issue, i think even active pfc psus are ok on stepped sine, it may cause them to wear out in the long term, but as long as you arent going onto ups power every day or two, i would imagine once in a while is ok.

someone did comment that the non-pfc power supplies can tolerate a larger “drop” in power while the UPS kicks in - the active ones sometimes loose power in the gap between the mains going and the ups kicking in… and they suggested it wasnt the sine/stepped sine was the issue - its that the pure sine wave models tend to be more pro-oriented and are line interactive - so never drop power when the main fails, even for a millisecond, the stepped ones tend to be standby - so once the mains fails it could take them a couple of milliseconds to start supply power, and a non-pfc supply would be ok with that, but the active pfc one might loose power output while waiting for he ups to kick in.

i would also think that the stepped ones must generally be ok (i.e. not destroy PFC PSUs) otherwise you would think PAC would have to issue warnings when the sell them “do not use with a PFC PSU”