At one place I used replace UPS batteries as soon as the light came on. Wander 400 yards down the road to the Battery Shop and pick up a set and get reimbursed via Expenses. They ALWAYS had what I asked for.
Plug in the UPS tray, and be ready for the Crack! as the last connector went on.
A half-hour job at most.
Taken over by a new outsourcing company, I was informed that that was no longer possible.
- Log fault with server support team. The fault is only allowed to be a "Severity 3", because services are still up.
- Wait for them to do nothing, because the UPS is only supporting network switches.
- After 2 weeks, chase them.
- After another 2 weeks, escalate call.
- After another week, someone decides that the fault ought to be dealt with. They move things around for another week, then I get an email saying that a quote has been requested.
- Another 4 weeks after that, a parcel arrives AIRMAIL from the USA, with APC logos all over it. The airmail charge is about twice the value of the contents, which are...
... exactly the same batteries I could have had on day 1,(except they cost a lot more since they are in an APC carton).
- I log a request with senior management for them to arrange a site-wide outage, as the failed batteries have now swelled to the point where they can only be removed by dismantling the UPS metalwork. The fault is now "Severity 1" - the type which has to be discussed in detail with the client. The cost of that discussion time is many times the cost of the batteries, and the outage has to be outside normal hours.
- Management complain about the overtime claim.
Having moved around a bit since then, I found myself this morning extracting batteries from decommissioned UPSs. This site refuses to allow battery swaps, deeming them "hot work", so UPS red lights are much in evidence, until the rack is redundant or the UPS lets its magic smoke out.
Many batteries had swelled, or cracked and caused corrosion.
With new batteries costing less than a quarter of a new UPS, this policy seems stupid to me, but "the customer is always right". The real problem for us is shifting 60kg boxes around when you have a panic because of dead equipment.