The APC PowerStack 450 is a rack-mountable uninterruptible power supply (UPS) designed to power communications equipment in small racks, which it does admirably. American Power Conversion (APC) has taken its reputable UPS technology and repackaged it in economy size, bringing power protection together with communication equipment in the same rack. Its clean design and front panel access also let network managers efficiently handle power maintenance and portability.
The PowerStack's key benefit is its size, especially because rack space can often be tight. Over the years, I've wrestled with how to protect equipment in racks. All too often the UPS would sit on the floor next to the rack, wasting floor space and making equipment moves more difficult. When it's time to move the rack, you also have to move the UPS. Although the earlier mounts were designed for rack mounting, they were not well designed.
APC solves this in the PowerStack 450, which, like the similar PowerStack 250, is a short unit designed to take up just less than 2in of the rack space. This is a considerable benefit compared to most UPSs on the market, which are considerably taller than the PowerStack.
But the size of the PowerStack has led to some compromises. Because the battery is rather small, the run time on batteries can be short - while running one PC, the UPS lasted only about 25 minutes on its battery.
However, the PowerStack's portability also solves the problem of battery changing. The battery compartment is accessible from the front of the unit, so it's easy to swap the batteries. In fact, battery swapping can be done while the system is running.
In addition, the rack-mount brackets are not an integral part of the unit, so the unit can be used in desktop installations as a monitor support and personal UPS.
The PowerStack 450 only delivers 450 volt-amps (va), which may not seem like much power for a 19in rack. However, APC officials told me their research revealed that most companies only have three or four communications devices on a rack and have low power requirements. Thus, more than 450va is often unnecessary.
The Bottom Line
APC PowerStack 450
This communication stack uninterruptible power supply lets network managers incorporate power protection into the same racks that hold the communication equipment, helping with maintenance and portability issues.
Pros: Small size; clean design; front panel access to batteries means no downtime for battery replacement; rack-mounting helps centralise functionsCons: Lacks an SNMP monitoring portPlatforms: N/A.
Price: Local pricing is not yet availableAmerican Power ConversionTel 1800 652 725(www.apcc.com)