UPS Upgrades for the Homelab

My Homelab has been coming along quite nicely over the last few years, from purchasing my first cabinet and trying to rack mount all the things, my current 22U cabinet is slowly starting to fill.

Since I stay in a fairly small flat noise is a huge consideration, and so the obsession starting for a silent rack of gear. From Noctua fans to low power CPUs I've tried it all, and never really got it right. More on this later, a seriously epic piece of kit is currently on order which will sort all this out.

One of the most important bits of kit to have in a Homelab, or anywhere you're running sensitive equipment, is a UPS. Not only should this allow some backup battery to safely shutdown all your stuff it also helps against surge protection.

The UPS being replaced is an APC SMC1500i-2U, it's lasted exceptionally well at a little over 4 years. Apart from a battery replacement a little over a year ago (thanks load shedding) this UPS has been rock solid. The entire cabinet, up until recently, would use around 280W, which means the current UPS gave me a runtime of about 15 mins. More than enough time to safely shut things down, or have it done automatically.

Before this blog went live I bought PoE cameras, powered by a PoE switch and connected to a low power Synology. Over the last few weeks I wanted to upgrade to a battery backup system that lasted for a stint of load shedding, normally 2.5 hours, keeping the cameras up and running, along with the internet.

Enter the big dogs - an APC SMX750i with an extended run APC SMX48RMBP2U.

After shutting down my main server, NAS and a few other things, this setup should power the Ubiquiti gear and the cameras for about 3 hours. What I really liked about the SMX750i is that it has the capability to add up to 5 (although the manual says 10) extended run batteries. At this stage I'm considering adding one more, but even at load the current cabinet doesn't pull more than 500W so anything more might be a bit over kill.

Overall I'm very happy with the setup. The main unit does make a bit of a hissing noise but this seems normal according to reviews and the manufacturer. These UPSs are meant to sit in a Data Centre where noise isn't an issue. Regardless, the cabinet arriving soon will sort this out.

Here's a few pics of the setup process. I left out the ones of me attempting some dead lifts with these units. They weigh a shit load, almost 40kg each with batteries installed.

More updates soon!

They've arrived! This is post a very grunt-filled haul from the garage.
Unboxing the beasts, getting ready for mounting. This is the extended run battery, about 40kg worth of battery.
This is the interim setup until the cabinet of awesome arrives, with the old UPS and a dusty 4U workhorse.
NAS and 4U server gone, time to rip out the old UPS.
All gone, and a post moderately enthusiastic dust of the cabinet floor
Installed! Extended run unit is at the bottom since it has a full rain support, SMX750i on top.
That's it for now, this setup will hold the fort until a new cabinet arrives.

Two obvious points here:

1) The cable management. I know, it's horrendous. There are some shorter CAT5E cables on order. I'm also using the new cabinet to break out the velcro cable ties to neaten things up.

2) The dust. This cabinet current sites with the side panels installed with both doors off to aid airflow. As above, this will be fixed once the new cabinet arrives.