VMware Home Lab – UPS Project

Hey Hey,

I have had a ton of direct questions about my home lab post HERE and have had many people say they did not even realise these types of servers are within reach for a home lab, Some have gone out an purchased similar systems which is awesome to see, because it means I wasn’t crazy in thinking it was a good value for money system, no Admin or aspiring architect is complete without a good home lab to play with.

Since installing this system I have had some close calls with data corruption and loss of disks. This was no fault of the system itself but unfortunately something (I think it was the dishwasher) was causing the breakers to switch which was turning my lab off cold. It wasn’t until the 4th time and a disk failed to come up, I started to think I really need to protect against this.

I started to look at UPS systems, again I want to do this on the cheap I am still paying back the IOU’s to the misses after the purchase of the lab. Now my system would need a pretty grunty power supply, I wanted to run:

  • Supermicro Servers (1200watt psu about 130watt x 4 average load while running)
  • TPLink Switch
  • Internet router and WiFi
  • Power for the direct wireless dish on the roof
  • Home Security System base station
  • Synology 1815+ 8 bay NAS

Now I didnt know exactly what power I would need but it was going to be more than the average home office desktop UPS could deliver.

I did have a thought, when I got the 42RU Rack there where 2 HP R3000 XR UPS’s at the bottom of the unit. While I knew these turned on when I got the rack the battery had been dead in them since I got them. and due to not being able to fit the rack in my old house it literally sat outside for 5 years in the weather… these could not possibly work right?

R3000 XR Specs:

Part Number: 192187-002
Spares Number: 222385-002
Operating Voltage Settings: 220, 230, 240
Power Out (VA/Watts): 3000/2700
Output Connection: (1) IEC320-C19; (9) IEC 320-C13
Unit Dimensions: 3.50 x 19.0 x 24.5 in / 89 x 483 x 622 mm
Unit Weight: 82 lbs/37 kg
Online Regulation: -10% to +6% of nominal voltage
On battery Regulation: ±5% of nominal voltage
Voltage Wave Form: Sine wave
Battery Type: Maintenance-free, sealed, valve-regulated lead acid (VRLA)

I plugged them in and both fired up and were working, but both were saying the batteries where dead. Cool so I now needed to look at getting batteries and could this be a cheaper option for me to have a UPS that could handle the load and hopefully run for more that 5 Min.

While I could not find the pack as a whole unit, I could find the individual batteries. I was able to get these delivered for $27 a battery from Batterybusiness including delivery this was 300 bucks for 10 batteries which was better than the $47 per battery i could find locally.

I was putting a lot of faith in these units still working but I did have other uses for the batteries so not all would have been wasted.

Once the batteries arrived I have to cut the casing that held the old batteries, opened like a clam shell. and started to pull out the old batteries. I did test some and they showed 0.4v .. so very much gone.

Half the batteries in, The system looks to run on 5 batteries in series which would have the system running 2 x 60v 5ah battery units.

Finally got all the batteries in and hooked up. and closed up the shell with trusty old sticky tape.

Next I placed the new battery pack in and crossed the fingers (Yes I know it is dirty but it did spend 5 years in the wilderness and I havent cleaned the bottom of the rack yet)

IT’s ALIVE!!!!

I shut down everything and plugged in it all came up with running around 30% load which should give me about 40 minutes of runtime which is awesome. I did my failure testing and switched the powerpoint off and the lab including all the other stuff ran and stayed up without an issue. the UPS beeps saying power has gone and shows it is running on batteries.

This was a fantastic outcome. While I did already have the shell of the UPS I did notice the same people (ITinStock) I bought the lab off also sell these with working battery packs?

Cheers!!!

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