What is our primary use case?
We have distribution centers. Our newer distribution centers have regular UPS's in them from Liebert. But we have two distribution centers that are older and we keep a small amount of network gear and server gear at those locations, two racks' worth usually. We use the Eaton UPS to support those racks. We can't have our power going down just because of a blip.
They mostly support our Cisco, HP, and Dell gear. We have one UPS in one rack and one UPS in the other rack. They're set up to always be redundant.
How has it helped my organization?
The alternative was to put in a large UPS at a couple of locations, which we didn't have room for. So the Eaton solution made my life a lot nicer. I have found something that I can rely on, and I know the installation is easy.
We have not seen any hot spots. We monitor all locations through Environet and we have not seen any issues with these causing hotspots or in-rack heat. That was a concern with the first install we did, because we basically had to install it in a closet. Once we got through that one, and it was okay, we never thought about it again.
It has also saved us a fair amount of rack space.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature is that they work. They've been really reliable for us. They come as advertised. There is also a nice network feature that allows us to monitor them.
It's also very important that it's a rack-mountable, three-phase UPS. Some of the equipment we run requires a three-phase, such as HPE BladeSystems and some of the Cisco core devices.
I like the footprint because it's 12U and then you put the other module into it, so it's about 15U. That's so much better than what we were looking at before. We were looking at almost a full rack of UPS's. The power density in relation to its footprint is fine. I looked at things that were a little larger, and they took up a whole rack. I looked at things that were smaller but they wouldn't have supported our needs because we needed 12 kVA. It's a nice footprint.
We also have their remote monitoring installed. It's very easy to use.
What needs improvement?
If they could reduce the footprint even more, that would be great. And they could always make heat dissipation better. But as long as they're reliable and they work, I don't think there is much room for improvement for them.
For how long have I used the solution?
We put our first one in two years ago.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
No, issues at all. Lots of reliability. They're used heavily every day.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
I have not had to scale them yet. It looks like it's pretty easy. It's just another module at your plugs. I haven't utilized the building-block nature of the solution yet.
Its ability to be upgraded online without bringing your production environment down would be great if I had to use that feature, but I have not. Any time I can do anything online, that's the better way of doing it.
In terms of upgrading, we don't have a set plan right now. I'm not saying we won't, but right now there's no plan.
How are customer service and technical support?
Their install techs and the standard support are great to work with. They came and got the job done. We had a building in Atlanta where they were putting one in and there was a part that got lost because we weren't there to receive the equipment; it was the construction people who did. Eaton support was able to go out, get the part, come back, and get it working. Same day. No charge.
I have rave reviews for their techs. I don't have a lot to compare against, but from my experience with them, I would buy from Eaton again if ever needed to.
We have their parts replacement plan but we don't do the service plan. T&M is our company policy. We haven't needed any onsite service because we haven't had any issues at all.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Prior to having Eaton's BladeUPS in the five locations we have them, one location did not have a UPS, three were new construction, and the fifth one had a UPS, but it was a single-phase and it was about 20 years old.
At that last location I chose Eaton because I'd used it before. The first location I did with Eaton was a distribution center. Before Eaton, every time that center lost power — and it was right at the end of the grid, so it lost power a lot — the network would go dead and we'd have to recover the network and everything else. That's when we decided to put the UPS in. That's when I did the little evaluation I did. I worked with CDW for that. In fact, I've bought all of them through CDW.
How was the initial setup?
I had to get a circuit running to me, but other than that I didn't have to have an electrician. That saved some money. In our distribution centers we have electricians, so that wouldn't cost me in those locations, but at the construction sites that I put it in, it would have.
The deployment, overall, is very straightforward. You just follow the cookie-cutter book that they give you to install the rack. Then their tech comes and, within a couple of hours, it's up and running. It easily takes less than a day.
We don't require any staff for maintenance. With my large UPS, I have a once-a-quarter maintenance program from the vendor, but this requires none. Three people in our organization interact with the Eaton UPS but that's a minor part of their jobs.
What about the implementation team?
There was one tech from Eaton involved in the installation, and from our organization there was me and another person. We actually did the install and then they came in, connected it up, and did the confirmation on it.
What was our ROI?
At that one location where the power kept going down we have seen ROI by far. We couldn't keep having outages of 10 to 15 minutes. The UPS does what it does. It keeps the power up until our generator takes over.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The pricing was very fair. That was one of the criteria when we did our evaluation and Eaton had the better price at that time. And what's amazing about it is that I found no other costs with Eaton. It was the cost of the UPS and the cost of the parts contract and that was it. They have not ever charged me anything else.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I did a comparison when I did the first Eaton and they were by far, not just on footprint, but overall, the better product.
What other advice do I have?
The greatest thing about them is how easy they go in and start working.
My advice would be to follow the installation manual. It's not a hard install, but it's a little tricky. It's a heavy unit, so you have to make sure you have enough people to move it into the rack and get the platforms in the rack correctly. Other than that, just let it do its job.