If you want to enjoy a maximum of reliability and safety, you need to ensure your uninterruptible power supplies, your backup generator and your data centre cooling system are properly maintained and perfectly functional.
Security and Protection
Keep in mind that your UPS and your backup generator are meant to protect your most important IT equipment and ensure your IT systems are always available. This is why you can’t afford any downtime due to system failures, as that could cause big problems to your organisation.
Your standby power system is as reliable as its weakest component. Even the best system is subject to the normal wear and tear, regardless of its performance or design. Eventually, there will be some parts that will need replacement, so you have to expect this to happen.
A backup generator may fail because of a worn-out starter battery, a lack of fuel or a loose wire. All UPS systems eventually need the replacement of their batteries, as well as their capacitors, filters, and fans during their useful life. Very few users are aware of all these, and therefore they fail to take proper care of their systems.
The only method to detect all early signs of wear and tear and the regular maintenance inspections. This is how you can perform the needed repairs and to replace all worn out parts before they can cause any downtime.
The only question is how do you decide how frequent these maintenance visits should be?
Planned Preventative Maintenance Calls
A good maintenance and service plan should include such scheduled preventative maintenance inspections and a good strong pdu. You can have them carried out during your regular working hours. Should you intend to go for system upgrades, you may want to schedule them outside working hours.
Generally speaking, the number of recommended planned preventative maintenance visits per year is:
- 1 visit for the UPS
- 1 major and 1 minor visit for the backup generator
- 1 major and 1 minor visit for the cooling system
These are only rough guidelines to help you make yourself an idea about these things. You can schedule additional visits, should you prefer to ensure your systems are in perfect shape at all times.
Telephone Technical Support
Most maintenance and service agreements will include a form of telephone technical support. You can use it in the event of a problem. Some minor flaws and alerts are easy to sort out over the telephone. Major problems, however, will require the presence of a technician.
On-Site Emergency Response
In case of a major fault, you have several options to choose from, in order to ensure a technician will come to investigate the issue and to find a fix. The speed of response will influence the price of your contract.
As you can probably imagine, the faster the response, the more expensive the service. Standard contracts include next day on-site presence. However, you can also opt for same day, 8 hours, or even 4 hour response times, if these options are available in your area of residence.
Labour may or may not be included, so you need to keep this in mind when estimating your maintenance and preventative care costs.
Thanks to technology advances, UPS systems and cooling equipment allow for remote monitoring. Your maintenance provider may be able to offer you the option to monitor your systems from a distance.
This can save you a lot of money, as it won’t require a technician to come to you for every scheduled visit. Some maintenance check-ups and operations can be performed remotely, provided that the equipment has the required technology for these features.