Last June was the A-feed’s turn, in August the B-feed. New UPSs. An Uninterruptable Power Supply, UPS, is a really large battery in a way. UPSs power the equipment between the moment the mains are unavailable due to a failure until the moment the diesel generators have been automatically turned on and can supply the power.
The UPSs in the server space in BIT-2A dated from 2006. Understandably we performed annual major maintenance, where for example underperforming battery cells were replaced. Nine years after purchase, however, it was high time for something new. And as we have seen in the area of hardware and cooling, the developments in the field of UPSs has not stopped.
One of the two most important developments concern the energy efficiency of the devices. Where the old UPSs had an efficiency of 96%, the new ones deliver 98%. After some adjustments that will be done over time, the efficiency can even rise to 99%.
The other important difference between the UPSs of different generations is the fact that the new UPSs are modular. That ensures that the UPSs can accommodate the growth in the amount of equipment they need to operate. A second advantage of that modularity is that the individual modules can be serviced or replaced. Maintenance on a module or a failure on a module does not have to mean a complete disconnection of the UPS. That ensures a higher availability of the UPSs and that is what counts in the end.
Replacing UPSs is no sinecure. It requires a lot of planning to ensure sufficient UPS capacity during such maintenance activities. In BIT-2 we always provide an A-feed and a B-feed to our collocation clients. Both feeds have their own UPSs. Every feed in BIT-2A has multiple UPSs. For availability reasons UPSs for both the A-feed and the B-feed are present. That is why we want the UPSs available on both feeds as much as possible, also during the replacements. In June, the UPSs for the A-feed have been replaced one by one at night, so we were ‘redundant’ again during the day (which means active UPSs for both the A-feed and the B-feed). In August, the UPSs for the B-feed will be replaced in several maintenance windows.