Why UPS Service is a Critical Line Item in Your Operational Budget

Data Center Best Practices | Why UPS Service is a Critical Line Item in Your Operational Budget

MPRS for Symmetra PX

UPS service and maintenance is not always a popular budget item, but omitting it can be even more costly. Today’s IT Departments are under tremendous pressure to reduce expenses.  As an area of the business that is expected to be invisible, yet deliver 100% uptime and network availability, your margin for error is razor thin.  Ironically, while your IT department is running the most business-critical applications in your organization, your budget is always closely scrutinized.

Including services as a line item in your operational budget will prolong the life and reliability of your UPS and maximize the investment in your capital equipment. Regular UPS maintenance and service can prevent failure, downtime, and expensive unplanned repairs or replacements. Whether your IT department is expected to maintain the status quo or expand this year, you are expected to deliver. The wide variety of service options available can help you budget for costs ahead of time.  And, in most cases, the predictable annual expense of UPS maintenance and service is almost always less expensive than the cost of a fix after a failure without coverage.

There are many levels of service available, from simple preventive maintenance and factory service plans, to electrical efficiency assessments, system refreshes, and disaster recovery services. These service options are available in packages that fit your UPS system.

Preventive Maintenance Service

The scheduled maintenance provided in Preventive Maintenance Service heads off potential problems before they occur, reducing or eliminating costly downtime. Most full-service packages include technical support, proactive maintenance, quick on-site response when needed, and remote monitoring. A customized service contract can be established to best suit the specific needs of your UPS system and facility. Proactively scheduled preventive maintenance ensures that your system is always operating at peak performance, thereby prolonging its lifespan and protecting your investment in power and cooling equipment.

Recommended service intervals are annually for UPS’s younger than 7 years old, and semi-annually for UPS’s 8 years and older. Preventive maintenance is typically included in three phase Factory Service Plans and can be purchased for single phase products.

Remote Monitoring Service

Remote motoring service provides 24-hour monitoring of your physical infrastructure. As a second set of eyes, this service can help you diagnose problems before they become critical. With the growth of non-data center spaces and network closets as well as staff reductions, this service can be invaluable. This service has become much more sophisticated, even in the last year, offering a switch from reactive to predictive reporting. If you haven’t looked at this service recently, it’s time to give it another look.

The remote monitoring service is achieved through firewall-friendly outgoing communications, and access to the customer network is not required. This service is proactive, threats can be anticipated, identified and resolved quickly and accurately. Customers of this service are notified in real time via phone or email as critical events occur, allowing them to reduce mean time to recovery, improve efficiency and maximize uptime. This service can be set-up for multi-device support to manage an extensive range of devices including: single-phase and three-phase UPS’s, power distribution units, cooling and environmental devices as well as other appliances. Additionally, third party devices can be monitored via dry contacts. This ongoing service is often included with factory service plans but can be purchased separately.

Data Center Electrical Efficiency Assessment

A Data Center Electrical Efficiency Assessment is an onsite evaluation of your power and cooling infrastructure that analyzes energy usage and provides a plan to improve efficiency and reliability while controlling energy costs. The focus of this service is to uncover the most significant deficiencies in power, cooling and physical infrastructure. This service provides you with baseline data for future comparison and an unbiased analysis with vendor-agnostic solution options. All assessment services offer you a customized report, which may include the following; power and cooling requirements to support the existing loads, thermal imaging, computer-aided drawings, descriptions of constraints and recommendations for increased efficiencies and capacity. This report provides you with the information you need to extend the life of your equipment, to ensure the highest level of network availability and to design for future growth for optimal performance.

If you have never completed a data center electrical efficiency assessment, it is recommended that you do one soon. Going forward, you should have another assessment done any time you have major changes to your data center, such as adding new equipment, rearranging the rows, or the migration of services off-site. This should be a justifiable addition to your budget because of the cost savings it can generate.

Battery Maintenance 

Battery Maintenance Service is a vital component of any maintenance program since even one failed battery can compromise an entire system. Battery maintenance and replacement services offer regular inspections that can detect early signs of deterioration and be proactively managed before a failure occurs. Batteries generally need to be replaced every three to five years and capacitors need replacement every five to seven years. The battery maintenance service can also cover labor and travel expenses, field engineers to diagnose issues with your battery system and site reports that provide a battery system assessment with recommendations guaranteeing optimum availability and battery run time.

When the time comes for a full battery replacement, we can coordinate delivery and installation with minimum disruption to your business. Battery Maintenance is recommended annually. The Battery Preventive Maintenance Service can be purchased as a stand-alone or in conjunction with any service agreement.

Factory Service Coverage

With Factory Service Coverage, you will have peace of mind knowing that in the unlikely event of a failure, your product will be repaired or replaced quickly, minimizing downtime. Factory Service Plans are offered in service packages that offer hassle-free system maintenance to improve uptime at a predictable cost allowing you to choose the option that works best for your system and budget.

System Refresh

As your system ages, the risk of unexpected issues or downtime increases. There are options to extend the life of your UPS system rather than replacing it. Our revitalization service is a cost-effective service approach that essentially gives your system a refresh, instead of a costly replacement.

This service usually includes replacement of the power modules, intelligence modules, fans and other parts inside your UPS with brand new, factory replacement parts, creating an essentially new UPS at a fraction of the cost of replacing the entire UPS.  The refresh minimizes downtime by putting the existing UPS into maintenance bypass mode while the service is being completed. The utility is still feeding power to the critical load while the parts are being replaced, saving hours of potential downtime. This service can also include the UPS components, on-site service labor, travel expenses, and disposal. A system refresh is recommended between years five and seven for single phase systems and between years eight and ten for three phase systems.

Disaster Response Service 

Significant events like hurricanes, floods and explosions can cause facilities to experience enormous loss of property, production and revenue. In the aftermath of such an event, it is essential for facilities to have a recovery plan, and the necessary support in place to ensure that the business can return to production in a rapid and safe manner. Being poorly prepared for disaster can be expensive as every minute of downtime increases costs. Our team of customer service engineers have first responder training and use a multi-vendor approach to get you up and running quickly. They also can set up an alternate system until you are back on-line.  It is suggested that your disaster response service plan gets reviewed yearly for any changes.

ServiceRecommended Timing
Preventive Maintenance ServiceAnnually
Remote Monitoring ServiceOngoing
Data Center Electrical Efficiency AssessmentOnce, but perform again if changes to your data center
Battery MaintenanceAnnually
Factory Service CoverageOngoing
System Refresh

Between year 5-7 for single phase

Between year 8-10 for 3 phase

Disaster Response ServiceReview annually

For more information about the UPS Service and Maintenance options that can make your budget predictable, 
call 800-876-9373 or email [email protected].