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Server Technology and You: BYOPDU

Posted by RJ Tee on Mar 15, 2018 3:32:43 PM

blog-header_BYOPDUAt Server Technology, we focus on what we can do to make the process of identifying, selecting, and purchasing a rack PDU as simple as possible.  That dedication to support does not stop when the rack PDU ships.  Our philosophy is to provide a high level of service throughout the entire lifecycle of the product.

In our first blog on service and support, we discussed the Rack PDU Selection Wizard as a way to identify the right type of PDU for your application.  In the next blog, we discussed using the Rack PDU Selector to dial in the features you need to specify your tailored PDU.

But what if you already know that your application is a perfect fit for the HDOT series of power distribution units?  Then we have a proposal for you.

If you are at that point in the specification process, then you likely know that High Density Outlet Technology (HDOT) has the most outlets in a 42U intelligent Rack PDU with industry standard C13 and C19 outlets. You also know Server Tech outlets have high native cord retention, and that alternating-phase outlets are color-coded for easy cabling.

You may also know that alternating phase outlets distribute the phased power on a per-outlet basis instead of a per-branch basis. This allows for shorter cords, quicker installation and easier load balancing for 3-phase rackmount PDUs. Shorter cords mean less weight, making them less likely to come unplugged during transportation of an assembled rack.

What you may not know is that Server Technology has a configuration tool specifically for HDOT and Alternating Phase applications called BYOPDU, or the Build Your Own PDU tool.  The BYOPDU configurator takes a Switched, Smart or Metered 42-outlet High Density Outlet Technology (HDOT) PDU and allows you to build an HDOT PDU your way in four simple steps.  Here is how it works:

  1. Decide between a standard or alternating phase, and choose how many outlets you need
  2. Determine voltage, amperage, and phase type
  3. Select plug type and outlet configuration
  4. Review and submit a request for quote

You configure and we take it from there. The BYOPDU tool is designed to make the selection and order process as easy as possible. 

Does your provider help you build the right product for you?  Experience power on command and answer the questions yourself to see what PDU is in your future with Server Technology’s  BYOPDU tool.  We are the company dedicated to bringing you the tools and support you need to get the best PDU for your application.


Topics: HDOT, Alternating phase, BYOPDU

Don’t Have A Cow About Load Balancing, Man

Posted by Erik Stabile on Mar 14, 2018 4:45:00 PM

Originally Posted Sep 30, 2015, Updated Mar, 14, 2018

Look at you. You’ve been behind your cabinets all day, trying to balance your servers’ power loads. You’re drenched in sweat. Your back hurts. You’ve been through half a pot of coffee. And now you have a headache on top of it.

We feel your pain. Manual power load balancing just isn’t an easy process. It’s complex, delicate and time consuming as it requires determining exactly where to place each cable in order to prevent your circuits from overloading. Further, there are additional factors like environmental issues to worry about. And if you make just one mistake, you risk throwing your entire setup out of balance, potentially leading to a costly power outage.



Isn’t there an easier way to go about this?  There is.


Server Technology can simplify the load balancing process with its Alternating Phase PDUs, which distribute power on a per receptacle basis —as opposed to a per branch. Server Technology’s Alternating Phase PDUs come with color-coded outlets, for easy setup, and automated power distribution throughout each receptacle. This means you won’t have to manually configure each path.

In addition to reducing stress and saving you time, this technology can also reduce operating costs in your data center, too. Alternating Phase PDUs eliminates power loss, as it reduces waste during each cycle and pumps power back into your system instead of into the ground.

Ready to learn more?  Read the Alt-Phase executive summary


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Topics: HDOT, Alternating phase, load balancing, alt-phase

Server Technology and You: the Rack PDU Selector

Posted by RJ Tee on Mar 12, 2018 5:21:00 AM


For the second in a series about Server Technology’s lifecycle approach to award-winning customer service and support, we would like to talk about the next steps in the process of selecting just the right PDU for you.  In our previous post on this topic, we discussed our Rack PDU Selection Wizard and its uncanny, often magical ability to help you select the right PDU type for your application.

But once you’ve settled on Basic or Metered, Switched or Smart, what’s next?

We’re glad you asked, because we already have the answer waiting for you in another form of support we offer to all of our customers.  It’s Server Technology’s Rack PDU Selector.  With another great online means of support, you can start with a product type, and end with a part number and have a power strategy expert contact you.

You thought the wizard was the thing?  We’ve got a new trick for you, Gandalf.


With the Rack PDU Selector, you can build on your chosen power distribution unit product type and add to it the features that will allow it to support your IT operation.  This tool allows you to select features such as POPS (Per Outlet Power Sensing) to dial in the level of monitoring you need to have. 

From a nominal voltage standpoint, you can select from among all of the usual suspects lurking between 120 and 415 volt.  Or you can even select -48V if AC is not really your thing.  In terms of current, you can pretty well pick a number between 16 and 1200, and we will have a checkbox just waiting for you.   

When it comes to accessing all of that power, our Selector can help you navigate the myriad receptacle permutations offered up in the name of NEMA and IEC.   You can also select receptacle density (think high or low) and choose the number of outlets, anywhere from 4 to 54.  We’ve even considered the receptacles into which you may plug your new rack PDU, whether it be an IEC C20 or a 240/415V Wye 60A IEC 60309.  We can ship it to you unterminated if you don’t feel like committing just yet.

If you’ve already decided on whether you should power your rack with vertical power strips or the horizontal variety, Server Technology has a variety of mounting options.  If you aren’t sure which direction to go, we’ve got a couple of blogs that can help with that decision, too.

Does your provider help you build what’s best for you?  Find out what PDU is in your future by using Server Technology’s Rack PDU Selector.  We are the company dedicated to bringing you the tools and support you need to get the best PDU for your application.


Topics: PDU Wizard, product selector, rack PDU selector

The Top Benefits of True HDOT With Alternating Phase Outlets

Posted by Josh Schaap on Mar 6, 2018 12:40:00 PM

Originally Posted on Jul 11, 2016 - Updated March 6, 2018


In the past, a standard rack only held about nine servers and consumed around 6 kW of power when running at full capacity. With this load capability, you could safely power a full rack using a single-phase power distribution unit (PDU).

Times have changed, though, as the servers you are using today are slimmer and more powerful, which allows for much greater density in the rack. Now, you can fit about 10 times as many servers onto a single rack, which can save valuable data center real estate. For this reason, many data centers are now experimenting with higher cabinet densities to maximize output.

As convenient as this is, however, it also presents a challenge from a power management perspective. The more servers you add to a rack, the more power you will draw. A full rack of blade servers, for instance, can easily consume around 20 kW of electricity or more depending on your usage. Running a single-phase PDU with such a heavy load is a sure-fire way to trip your circuit breakers and cause a power outage.

So, what can you use to run high-density power loads both safely and efficiently?

Consider investing in Server Technology’s patented, market-leading High Density Outlet Technology (HDOT) Alternating Phase PDUs—specifically engineered for data centers with limited cabinet space and heavy power workloads. HDOT Alternating Phase PDUs deliver three-phase power distribution to the rack, providing over 50 percent more electricity. With 42 C13 outlets in a 42U-high by 1U-wide device, HDOT offers the highest outlet density on a connected PDU. 

Discover the only PDU to win multiple awards: HDOT with Alternating-Phase technology.

Here are the top benefits of using HDOT Alternating Phase PDUs in your data center:

Easier load balancing for three-phase PDUs: Load balancing is necessary for reasons related to safety and power efficiency; unbalanced power loads, for instance, can cause uneven voltage and current measurements, which can be harmful to your equipment. Unbalanced loads can also trip your circuit breakers. Whereas load balancing can be a confusing and time-consuming task, HDOT simplifies the process with an alternating phase arrangement that will allow you to alternate phase pairs on a per-outlet basis. The result is less clutter and shorter cords.

Convenient size: Part of what makes HDOT so popular is its stripped-down, convenient size. When creating the HDOT product line, Server Technology’s designers removed all of the unnecessary material around each outlet. Like other PDUs in the HDOT family, the only thing that remains on the HDOT Alternating Phase PDUs is the core outlet structure, which makes them easier to mount in or around tightly packed cabinets.

High native cord retention: We’ve all been there: You’re performing routine maintenance in your data center and you accidentally bump into a power cord, causing it to disconnect from its outlet. It happens quite frequently in the data center, especially when moving equipment. Traditionally, the solution was to invest in expensive, custom ancillary cord-locking devices for each outlet. HDOT streamlines the process by using high native cord retention, which holds plugs firmly in place while they are attached to an outlet. So, once you plug a device into an HDOT Alternating Phase PDU, you can rest assured that it will stay exactly where you put it.

Custom configured: When purchasing an HDOT PDU, you can choose a configuration that meets your exact needs using Server Technology’s “Build Your Own PDU” program. The process takes just four steps, and is a walk through where you will select everything from your voltage, amperage and phase requirements to power input, orientation, outlets, connectivity and quantity preferences. This program can also be used to build HDOT Switched, Smart and POPS PDUs. 

Custom configured.  90% ship within 10 days.
Build Your Own PDU at byopdu.servertech.com


Want to learn more about how Server Technology can help your business improve its power density strategy? Click here.

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Topics: HDOT, Alternating phase, BYOPDU, alt-phase

What is a PDU vs. a Power Strip?

Posted by Erik Stabile on Mar 6, 2018 11:15:00 AM


Editor's Note: Originally posted Aug 5, 2016 - Updated March 6, 2018

Recently, a customer wondered about the real difference between high-quality power distribution units (PDUs) for the data center, and standard 120V power outlets (like the kind you would find in Home Depot). Why spend the extra money? They both supply power directly to the cabinet, right?

In short, yes—they do. Both the PDU and the power strip, however, are in different classes in terms of what they are capable of providing. Think of it this way: A power outlet is to a power distribution unit like a flip phone is to a smart phone; the former is very basic, while the latter is much more powerful and complex. 

It's okay, we'll break it down for you.

So what is a PDU?

A standard power outlet, in other words, offers 120V of alternating current (AC), seven outlets and, in some cases, surge protection. Conversely, Server Technology’s most basic rack PDU offers up to 230V AC and up to 26 outlets in a slimmer, more compact device that is specifically engineered for use in a high-performance data center. On the other end of the spectrum, Server Technology’s intelligent PDUs can provide up to 42 outlets in a single unit, with up to 415V AC, advanced network cards, power measurement technology, temp and humidity probes, and the list goes on...

Let's see your power strip do that. ;-)

It’s important to note that Server Technology has several different—and highly customizable—products in its PDU family. In addition to the aforementioned basic PDU, there are also metered, smart, switched, smart POPS (Per Outlet Power Sensing) and switched POPS PDUs.

Want to narrow our 12,000+ possible PDU configurations down to a product family?  Learn about our Rack PDU Selection Wizard in this blog.

Here is a look at some of the advanced capabilities of Server Technology’s PDUs:

Remote switching (for switched PDUs and switched POPS): To toggle power on and off with a standard rack mount power strip you need to be standing right next to it. Server Technology’s PDUs enable individual outlet control for remotely switching power on and off. This feature is ideal for large data centers that have hundreds of different cabinets, or those with multiple facilities spread out across the world. Authorized users can use remote switching to control power flows without having to be physically present.  You can read more about Servertech's remote power management solutions here.

Input current monitoring (for metered, smart, switched, smart POPS and switched POPS): The vast majority of power usage in a data center comes from cabinets, where servers run all day and all night, week in and week out. Many servers, for that matter, run even when they are not being used, which wastes electricity and money. (Learn more about zombie servers and what you can do to get rid of them) When using basic power outlets, there is no way to tell how much electricity is being used in each cabinet on a daily basis.  Server Technology’s input current monitoring feature allows managers to see power usage for individual circuits, which is helpful for identifying which devices can be scaled back or eliminated to reduce waste.   

Secure access (for smart, switched, smart POPS and switched POPS): With the ability to monitor input current comes the great responsibility to protect this information from hackers or unauthorized users. Server Technology’s PDUs come with strong access, security and communications controls so that only authorized users can access power usage data and make critical changes to the network.

Greater cable retention (for all PDUs): In a standard power outlet, cables can easily become dislodged, which can lead to unexpected power outages. Server Technology offers server rack power strips that come with lockable, high-retention outlets to ensure that cables stay firmly in place.

Environmental monitoring (for smart, switched, smart POPS and switched POPS): A standard power outlet won’t do much to prevent environmental disasters. Can your data center survive a hurricane with just power strips? That’s because power outlets don’t contain advanced sensors for measuring temperature and humidity levels. Server Technology’s PDUs do contain such sensors, which can transmit critical environmental alerts when cabinets exceed customizable environmental thresholds. This allows managers to prevent equipment from overheating and breaking. What’s more, all of Server Technology PDUs are designed for use in higher temperatures, which means they come with less inherent risk.   

Alternating phase distribution (for 3-phase PDUs): Load balancing is a necessary—also difficult and time-consuming—task that must be performed manually on standard power outlets. Server Technology’s PDUs streamline load balancing with a new, unique method called alternating phase power distribution. The result is a simpler and more efficient process.

Take a new look 3-phase power distribution.  Read the alternating phase executive summary.

Flexible mounting (for all PDUs)
: Standard power outlets rest on the floor, where they get kicked around and abused. Server Technology’s rack mount PDUs are slim and flexible enough to mount directly inside or on top of a cabinet, where they take up less room.

These are just some examples of how Server Technology’s high-quality rack PDUs differ from standard power strips. For more information, click here

Puzzled Picking the Right PDU?  Check Out Our New Rack PDU Buying Guide

Topics: Power Distribution Unit, power strip, Alternating phase, rack PDU, powerstrip, rack mount power strip

Server Technology and You: Guides and Wizards

Posted by RJ Tee on Mar 5, 2018 12:23:49 PM


Server Technology is dedicated to making the rack PDU buying experience as effortless and satisfying as possible. Our approach is to provide world-class service and support before, during, and after the sale. All the tools and resources you need are on our website, where we’re ready to provide the best customer service in industry.

In case you were wondering, ‘wizard’ does not refer to self-appointed title or level of mastery of the customer service profession. But it could. Rather, Server Technology provides a Rack PDU Selection Wizard to help our customers navigate the land of PDU selection. You might expect this to be a relatively simple path that requires no magical staff or pointed hat to traverse. However, with more than 20 features that can all be added to five distinct PDU types, you have over 2,000 part numbers to choose from.

Seems like nothing in life is simple, right?

Wrong. With our PDU Selection Wizard, we can start to narrow 12,000+ PDU configurations down to a single product family that is right for you and your application. This tool makes the process short, sweet and simple by guiding you through a series of short questions about your power distribution needs. Depending on your responses to the following, the wizard can whittle the part numbers down to a handful and get you started on the right path.

Do you need outlet level monitoring?
Depending on your answer, you may be one who needs to understand how much power you're using for each device in the data center.


Do you need individual outlet control?
You might fall in the category of the control-minded who need access from afar if your response indicates it.


Do you need network monitoring?
Remote rack-level power monitoring capabilities could be the direction you head after this question.


Do you need current display?
You may be in the group that needs a little information but aren’t super-concerned about changes over time.



As you may have guessed, there are no right or wrong answers. The wizard will guide you through the process of narrowing the basic selections and then get you on your way to picking additional features.

Does your provider help you build the right product for you? Experience power on command and answer the questions yourself to see what PDU is in your future with Server Technology’s Rack PDU Selection Wizard. We are the company dedicated to bringing you the tools and support you need to get the best PDU for your application

Click to try our PDU selection wizard

Topics: PDU Wizard

Spectre and Meltdown vs. Servertech Rack PDUs

Posted by RJ Tee on Mar 1, 2018 4:10:02 PM


Server Technology has you covered when it comes to threats from the latest cybersecurity attack.  Like last week’s YouTube star, the latest security threat has come and gone.  It is unfortunate that these attacks have become so commonplace that they barely raise an eyebrow these days.  I imagine that this is much to the chagrin of the nefarious code writers who are cooped up in an abandoned warehouse in a very, very cold part of the planet hacking away right now.

A little tip from your friends at Server Technology.  If you want to do this right, shouldn’t you folks at least hire a good marketing firm to help with branding?  Seriously, in this day and age, who rolls out a bad-guy product called “Spectre,”?  James Bond already covered that.  Or even worse, “Meltdown?”  To me, that one sounds like an upstart competitor to “Syndrome” from the movie The Incredibles.  What happened to originality?

Fellas, come on.  You can do better than this. 

We will give you some credit, though.  A cyber threat that attacks vulnerabilities in nearly all the processors built since 1995 and that drive all of our devices, both desktop and mobile?  Well, that is certainly impressive in terms of scope.  And the way it propagates through software and the cloud while assisting other malware along the way?  Hats off, nicely done. 

But not done quite well enough.

As detailed in this recent Technical Note from Server Technology, the aforementioned potential super calamities are just a new item, at least for customers of our power distribution units.  You may likely know, but each of our PDUs are themselves small computing devices, complete with software, tiny processors, and connections to networks.  

But as so eloquently summarized in the brief:  Server Technology PDUs are NOT vulnerable to Meltdown and Spectre. 

It seems that there was an oversight – a quality control issue if you will – within the bad guy production departments at Spectre and Meltdown.  While we could only speculate (no one from the Spectre PR Department was available for comment), it seems that there was a rush to release the threat into the cyber world.  Far be it from us to criticize, but it seems that the threat contained its own vulnerabilities and, behold, not all of the ARM processors were included.  The processors that drive Server Technology rack PDUs were not included in the attack.

At Server Technology, we take the security of our products seriously.  Our Technical Support department ensures the quality and technical resilience of our products, no matter their stage in the product life cycle.  Server Technology is your power strategy security expert.

Need help figuring out which PDU family has the features that you need?  We have you covered.  Try our Rack PDU Selection Wizard.

Topics: Security, rack pdus, humor

The Advantages of an Uncluttered Rack, Part II

Posted by RJ Tee on Feb 20, 2018 10:16:39 AM

dense server racks with cluttered cables

As mentioned in our previous post on Alternating Phase rack PDUs, many of us at Server Technology (including myself) like to talk about the benefits of our approach to handling three-phase power distribution within the rack. While the subject of three phase is de rigueur in the fashionable world of high density, there is a lot to talk about above and beyond the distribution of large amounts of power in a very small footprint.

Wow, I didn’t think I would ever hear myself say that there is more to talk about than power.

In our previous post, we talked about Alternating Phase PDUs and their ability to help manage, in addition to power, other space and cooling issues found in the typical data center. These included: a) unwanted heat load from unbalanced electrical phases, b) difficult-to-manage communications and power cabling in the back of the rack, and c) increased risk involved with move/add/change work inside a rack with that difficult-to-manage communications and power cabling.

In this post, we would like to shift our attention to another set of advantages that come with Alt Phase, all of which fall under the all-important category of cost.

Build Your Own Configure to Order Alt-Phase HDOT PDU in 4 Easy Steps - 90% Ship Within 10 Days

The first is the cost of space itself. Within an unmanaged three phase rack, there is a tendency to have unused U space because of neglect or fear. In the case of the former, it is simply too difficult to add more IT gear to an already messy rack. In the latter case, there is simply too much risk associated with the number of unknowns lurking in the back of an unmanaged rack. The path of least resistance is to find a safer haven for that new device in another rack. Over time, new equipment leads to new racks, and more racks consume more real estate within your room.

The second is the cost advantage of building out well-organized racks from day one, particularly if you subscribe to the rack and stack methodology. If your data center tends to be populated by racks that are pre-cabled by third-party integrators, then Alternating Phase PDUs make that job much easier. Shorter cable runs help reduce the cost not only of materials, but of labor as well. A simplified rack infrastructure built with a streamlined mapping process costs less to produce.

For more information our Alternating Phase products, take a look at our Alt-Phase White Paper Executive Summary, or head over to the PDU Buying Guide. At Server Technology, we are your Alternating Phase power experts.

click to build your own alternating phase HDOt PDU

Topics: HDOT, Alternating phase, alt-phase

The Advantages of an Uncluttered Rack, Part I

Posted by RJ Tee on Feb 15, 2018 2:52:00 PM


Alternating phase power distribution technology from Server Tech is one of my favorite subjects. It has benefits that extend well beyond the electrical distribution world. In fact, it is one of the few power products whose secondary benefits meet and sometimes exceed the fundamental purpose of a three-phase distribution product. I discussed it in a previous post.

Server Tech’s Alternating Phase PDUs may well set the new standard for the phrase, “the gift that keeps on giving.”


Every data center, from the humble corporate server room to the latest and greatest hyperscale offering nestled on an ice shelf in Greenland, is tasked with minimizing risk by balancing the demands of space, power, and cooling. While we at Server Technology tend to focus on the power leg of that three-legged stool through our rack PDU products, it is with the cooling leg that an Alt-Phase PDU really stands out.

How can an in-rack PDU take on such a weighty role and then address risk?

In most data center environments, cooling is a challenge with origins inside the rack. One source of the problem is imbalanced loads. As equipment is added to the rack, either on day one or after it has been installed, it could be powered from a branch that is already loaded. As these loads become more imbalanced, additional heat load is created by the IT equipment. Not only does this decrease your efficiency, but it compounds cooling demands by artificially inflating the heat load of the rack.

Another common issue is related and exacerbates the original one. I’m talking about excess cabling at the back of the rack. As if managing the communications wiring were not headache enough, add to the mix the thick power cables whose plugs need to be routed to different elevations of the rack in order to find an open receptacle. With Server Technology’s Alt Phase PDU, that open receptacle is now adjacent to the IT gear, which means far shorter power cables traveling an even shorter distance to find a home. This means no more woven mesh of power cables to act as a curtain trapping the heat being rejected at the back of the server equipment.

It’s like a breath of fresh air for your equipment.

Now we arrive at the issue of risk management. As the power and communications cabling gets more entangled, it becomes more difficult to complete move, add and change work within the rack. This makes the task of documentation more difficult, and it also makes it more likely that removing equipment will become a risky activity. Keeping cabling close to the source device takes the guesswork out of removing the old and installing the new.

For more information our Alternating Phase products, take a look at our Alt-Phase White Paper Executive Summary, or head over to the PDU Buying Guide. At Server Technology, we are your Alternating Phase power experts.

click to build your own alternating phase HDOt PDU

Topics: cooling, Alternating phase, heat, load balancing, Data Center Density, alt-phase

On the Benefits of Alternating Phase

Posted by RJ Tee on Feb 9, 2018 10:49:00 AM


Originally Posted on Oct 10, 2017 - Updated Feb 09, 2018

We’ve extolled the virtues of single phase 60A power distribution to the rack.  But there are still may situations in which a three phase deployment is required to power the needs of racks that consume 12kW or more.  In other words, situations that begin with ‘high’ and end with ‘density.’

The tricky part of three phase power is the accompanying balancing act.

We don’t mean from a financial or breaker panel standpoint, or even being able to walk a tightrope.  Just the simple chore of making sure the phases are equally loaded.  That’s easy enough to say about monolithic deployments of IT gear, but much tougher in real-world applications with multiple device types all cozied up in 42U of space.

To be sure, the issue of equally loaded phases is not just a matter of additional heat load or power inefficiency.  Poorly balanced circuits can overheat and breakers can trip.  And ‘trip’ is not a word we like to hear in the mission-critical world.

Now, here is where it gets interesting.

Server Technology takes a unique approach to the placement of the outlets on the power strip with a method called ‘Alternating Phase.’  Traditional PDUs have the X, Y, and Z phases grouped together:  X,X,X; Y,Y,Y; Z,Z,Z.  In an Alternating Phase configuration, those phases are grouped X,Y,Z; X,Y,Z; X,Y,Z.  Plugging into a different phase is then a matter of inches, not a long power cord run to the bottom of the rack.  To get a visual, take a look at our Technical Note to see pictures of the resulting differences between the two methodologies.

Want to learn more about Alternating Phase?  Take a deeper dive inside the executive summary.

Certainly Alternating Phase outlets are more difficult to wire inside the PDU itself, right?  Server Technology has tackled that problem in a unique way.  Instead of using wiring, we keep the form factor of the PDU small by distributing power via a multi-layer circuit board to each of the phases.  Our patented approach also solves two other potential issues:  heat gain within the rack PDU, and the potential for human error during the manufacturing process.

Don’t take it from me.  Look for yourself at our HDOT Alternating Phase One Sheet , or venture over to our Online PDU Building Tool to generate your own unique alternating phase rack PDU.  For help getting started, look at all the available PDU features from Server Technology.

click to build your own alternating phase HDOt PDU

Topics: HDOT, build your own PDU, 3 Phase power, three phase, Alternating phase, load balancing, three phase power, BYOPDU, alt-phase

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