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To meet the competitive and performance demands of modern digital enterprises, data centers are expected to run 24/7 – always accessible, always operational, always ready to receive, store and transmit data, applications and computing processes.
As data center professionals know, making this happen requires a reliable power and cooling infrastructure. Even the most reliable power and cooling equipment can fail due to natural disasters, overloads, humidity, or simple aging.
But the biggest cause of electrical outages by far is lack of maintenance. A 2010 study by Schneider Electric and Hartford Steam Boiler Insurance on the causes of electrical breakdowns shows that up to 77% “can be directly attributed to maintenance-related issues.”
The best thing data center professionals can do to protect against costly and prolonged breakdowns is to adopt a power and cooling infrastructure service plan. Here are three specific ways a power infrastructure service plan can benefit an enterprise:
1. A service plan reduces the chances of unscheduled power outages. A 2013 white paper by Duke University electrical engineer Paul Westray concludes that electrical equipment not covered under preventative maintenance programs is three times more likely to fail than regularly maintained equipment. In addition, Westray writes, the risk of an unexpected electrical failure “can be reduced by 66% with an effective preventative maintenance program.”
2. A service plan can avoid financial disaster. Unplanned power outages can cost businesses plenty. Sears Holding Corp. filed a lawsuit in 2013 alleging that a five-hour electrical failure at its data center cost it at least $2 million in lost profits and nearly $3 million to fix.
Further, IT departments with tight budgets may not be able to cover unexpected and potentially expensive outages. Since enterprises have little choice but to get their power equipment and data center back up and running, this can lead to a reallocation of IT resources and funds that were being used toward achieving strategic business goals.
By choosing a fixed-cost power equipment service plan, enterprises can avoid the havoc that an outage can wreak on the balance sheet and IT budget. This enables business decision makers to plan finances with greater confidence.
3. A service plan gives you the expertise you need. Data center and IT professionals are trained to manage computing hardware and software, and most of them are quite busy on a day-to-day basis. Attempting to troubleshoot and repair failed power equipment not only pulls them away from their normal responsibilities, it puts them outside their areas of expertise.
A service plan also provides enterprises with experienced power and cooling equipment field service engineers who can respond quickly and effectively, reducing downtime.
While there are many third-party power equipment service providers, a service plan with the equipment’s manufacturer guarantees that the repair professionals are thoroughly familiar with the function and design of the power infrastructure, can perform the correct diagnostics to pinpoint the problem, and can quickly identify and replace faulty parts. In other words, OEM service professionals don’t have to learn on the job at the expense of the client.
Data center customers using Schneider Electric power and cooling equipment can visit this page to learn about the company’s service plan options or contact their Schneider Electric representative.