Data center power infrastructure equipment has improved dramatically in recent years. But even the best and most well-maintained UPSs don’t last forever.
Aging equipment can lead to outages, which can have a serious impact on an enterprise’s bottom line. A recent study of U.S. data centers concluded that unplanned data center outages cost an average of nearly $8,000 per minute!
Clearly there are substantial risks to relying on power equipment nearing end of life service. Thus it’s not surprising that a modernization program for data center power equipment can provide many benefits.
Here are three of the top reasons why enterprises should modernize their data center power equipment:
1. Eliminate risk of obsolescence. When your aging power equipment fails, that’s a problem. When the parts to repair it are no longer available, that’s a disaster. But the latter is a distinct possibility for power infrastructure equipment closing in on the 20-year mark.
As the installed customer base for older power supply equipment thins, manufacturers and third-party suppliers phase out production of replacement parts because the demand is no longer large enough.
Data center professionals know this, and those who can persuade the C-suite to invest in modern power equipment not only are putting their enterprises on more secure ground, but they are also providing themselves with peace of mind.
2. Lower total cost of ownership. Modern UPS systems are vastly more efficient and “green” than the UPS systems of yesteryear, which translates into less energy-related waste.
Some UPSs on the market today are scalable and internally redundant, which means enterprises can buy a UPS that not only fits their current capacity, but can handle greater and lesser power workloads.
In addition, new power supply equipment requires less maintenance and typically is covered under an extended service and parts warranty.
This combination of improved operational efficiency,reduced maintenancesupport costs– not to mention the greater reliability – adds up to a much more favorable total cost of ownership (TCO) than does allowing a UPS to “run to fail.”
For example, a modern 500 kW UPS supporting 400 kW of IT load 24/7 might have an efficiency rating of 96%, while a legacy UPS of similar size and with an identical load might have an efficiency rating of 88%. Over a 10-year period, both systems will experience energy losses and corresponding cooling costs, but the total 10-year cost for a modern system might be $196,000, compared to $589,000 for the legacy UPS. That’s a big difference in OPEX.
3. Extend reliable life. There are two ways to modernize a data center’s power equipment. One is to completely replace a legacy UPS with a new one. The other is to revitalize an aging UPS by replacing its critical components. A standardized or modular UPS typically contains parts and sub-systems that can be swapped out for modern equivalents that are more efficient and covered under a service agreement.
Some of these upgradeable parts can include battery strings, DC and AC capacitors, fan assemblies, inverter assemblies and static switches. Since the service life for different parts can vary (battery are recommended to be replaced every 3 to 5 years, while a static switch may be recommended to be replaced at 10 years), being able to replace parts can extend the life of a power system while minimizing disruption to the business.
This white paper offers some strong guidance on what to do with an older UPS.
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