A Transfer Switch Can Provide Quick, Economical Power Redundancy for Single Inlet Devices

Power outages can be a major headache for network administrators; especially when those outages occur at remote network equipment racks, where an interruption in power might not be noticed until it causes a problem and a user complains. Obviously, the ideal solution for dealing with power outages at network equipment racks, is to implement a power redundancy strategy that enables vital network devices to begin drawing power from a secondary power source in the event that the primary power source in not available.

Although this type of solution is easy if your equipment rack includes only dual-power-inlet devices, it can be a bit more of a challenge if your application includes existing single-inlet devices. In cases like this, a transfer switch can drastically simplify the process of providing power redundancy to single inlet network devices, without the need to replace single inlet devices with new dual inlet devices.

The principle behind the transfer switch is simple. First, the transfer switch is connected to your primary power source and a back up power source such as a PSU. Next, power supply cables from your single inlet devices are connected to the transfer switch. In the event that the primary power source fails or becomes unstable, the transfer switch will automatically switch over to your back up power supply in as little as eight to twelve microseconds; quick enough that the interruption in power and switchover are basically transparent to the user. Later, if the primary power source stabilizes or starts working again, the transfer switch can also automatically switch back over to the primary power source.

Transfer switch products are available in both 120 VAC and 240 VAC configurations, and can also be found with both C13 and C19 outlets to support a variety of different types of rack mount network equipment. Installation of a transfer switch is generally pretty simple (as described above,) and once installed, in most cases no further configuration is required.

A transfer switch provides the perfect solution for applications that include single-power-inlet devices, yet still require power source redundancy and robust, out of phase switching. In addition, a transfer switch also saves time and money by providing an economical alternative to replacing existing single-inlet network devices with new dual-inlet devices, allowing budget conscious network administrators to add power fallback and redundancy capabilities to critical network applications, without the cost and hassles associated with switching over to dual-inlet network elements.

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