Don’s Corner: MGE EPS 3000- Does “End of Service” mean “End of the World”?

Posted by on January 9, 2012

MGE EPS 3000- Does “End of Service” mean “End of the World”?

Don Melchert, Critical Facility Specialist

When the manufacturer sets an End of Life date for their product, it doesn’t mean the end of the world for your critical infrastructure.  On the contrary, more often than not, it’s a blessing in disguise.   Over the span of ten years, the way we store and transmit data has changed dramatically.  Consider this, is anyone out there still using a floppy disk?  Let’s hope not, but ten years ago, many of us still were.  Oddly enough, as is the case in many data centers, the same trusty, dusty UPS has stayed right there while the world around it changed every two to three years.

In November of 2000, the last MGE EPS 3000 UPS rolled off of the assembly line and was placed into service.  Current owners of the MGE product line, Schneider Electric, will no longer support the MGE EPS 3000 series UPS as of December 31, 2011. In essence, this means that if you currently hold a service contract, you won’t be able to purchase a renewal after the EOS date.  In addition, Schneider Electric will no longer stock replacement parts, nor will they continue to train their Field Service Engineers to respond to service calls for the EPS 3000.   On the one hand, for a Data Center Manager, not being able to have support on their UPS can cause a panic attack.   On the other hand, this may be exactly the sort of ammo needed to present at the next budget meeting that might loosen the budget enough to make some serious efficiency changes.  Changes, yes, but not just in terms of a decrease in energy consumption…that’s easy.  No, I’m talking about finally having the chance to change your power infrastructure in a way that allows a company to never again worry about an “End of Service panic attack.”

With today’s newer, hot-swappable designed UPS systems, such as the APC Symmetra UPS, our industry is finally in a position to break free of our dependency on high cost service contracts.  By design, the APC Symmetra UPS encourages a company’s I.T. Staff with minimal training or experience to make repairs without ever contacting their service provider in the first place.  After all, the UPS is smart enough to diagnose a fault and intelligent enough to know if that fault warrants an all out shutdown, or simply to issue a fault alarm to their owner.  Armed with the knowledge that their entire UPS, from battery modules to static switch assembly can be changed on-the-fly, Data Center Managers are able to scale down or in many cases, eliminate the cost of high-end service contracts all together in favor of newer, high efficiency UPS systems.  When faced with the thought of finding someone else to service an outdated EPS 3000 after the manufacturer won’t, do we really want to pay more to a third party service provider, only to be faced with an even longer mean time to repair?

The question is, what’s your time worth to you, and more importantly, what’s your time worth to your company?  An hour spent on the phone with the manufacturer struggling to get a UPS failure diagnosed and a repair tech scheduled could have been only a few minutes changing out a failed power module and returning to the myriad of projects already being managed by the I.T. Staff.  You know, the important stuff, like resetting a user’s password, again, for the third time this week…

Please feel free to contact me with any questions at d.melchert@apcdistributors.com or call 918-760-8236.

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