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Stay Powered Blog

Complexity Is Great In Video Games, Not In Data Centers

Posted by Erik Stabile on Oct 19, 2016 9:15:01 AM


You’ve spent countless hours crawling around dungeons in The Legend of Zelda. It’s taken a commendable amount of dedication, but you’ve beaten them all, from the Deku Tree to the Black Tower. And you still love the game as much now as you did when you were seven.

tumblr_n5p1x7khek1tx33lno1_500.gifWhat is it about the Legend of Zelda that keeps you coming back time and again? This has been the topic of much debate recently. Ultimately, it comes down to complexity. The choices you make and the items you select during the game go a long way in determining how frustrated you get, and how sore your hands are after you’re done playing.

When you think about it, it’s amazing how complex and difficult some of the early Zelda games were. It’s for this reason why a game like Zelda II: Adventure of Link —despite its abysmal title— is still playable in 2016, 28 years after its initial release on the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Yes, complexity drives all great games. We celebrate complexity, and seek it in entertainment.  But there’s one place where it doesn’t belong, and that is in your data center.

It’s easy to feel a bit like Link sometimes, walking around your labyrinth of servers and fighting enemies like unexplainable power loss, network outages and cranky, electricity bill-wielding bosses. Unfortunately, in the real world, when you encounter these problems you can’t shut off a console, Hulk smash a controller or hop online and read a walkthrough. You have to come up with answers — and fast.

The trick is to put your money to good use and invest in power management technologies that will keep your data center running efficiently, keep the C-suite off your back and keep your data center under budget.

Queue Overworld Theme:

Server Technology is a data center power management merchant that can help with your quest!

Here are a few items that Server Technology has to offer:

Versatile rack mountable PDUs: Server Technology offers a wide range of high density power distribution units (PDUs) that can provide varying levels of insight and control about rack power usage. Server Technology offers basic, metered, smart and switched PDUs. And smart and switched units can be equipped with Per Outlet Power Sensing (POPS) for real-time metrics on crest factor, voltage, power (kW), apparent power and power factor.

Environmental monitoring: When servers overheat, they can become damaged or start fires. You can avoid this with Server Technology’s environmental monitoring solutions.

Cord retention solutions: Cables can often become unplugged while moving or maintaining equipment. Server Technology offers cord retention solutions, which can lock cables into place and prevent unplanned outages.

The Sentry Power Manager: This product can streamline capacity planning, reporting, monitoring and configuration. You can use this tool to oversee all of your PDUs.

ST Eye: Monitor your power usage and environmental conditions while on-the-go from an Android or Mobile device with Server Technology’s Bluetooth app, ST Eye (available on the App Store, or in Google Play).

To learn more how Server Technology can help conquer your data center, contact us today.

Topics: data center design, data center management

Customer-Focused Production At Server Technology

Posted by Josh Schaap on Oct 17, 2016 9:40:01 AM


When Jeremy Foroszowsky surveys the production of the floor at Server Technology’s headquarters in northern Nevada, he doesn’t notice - as most people would - the amazing beehive of activity, with workers concentrating on assembling some of the world’s most powerful PDUs. Instead, he sees happy customers.

In the end, that’s really Foroszowsky’s job; to ensure that the final product conforms to the exacting standards for which Server Technology has developed such a stellar reputation. Even though his title reads Director of Manufacturing Operations, his ultimate goal is to see that every component of every power distribution unit that comes off of his production line is exactly what the customer is expecting.

The same could be said of everyone else who works at Server Technology, whether they’re an engineer, salesperson, receptionist or CEO, but Foroszowsky also has the added role of ensuring that the products are delivered on time, every time.

That, Foroszowsky says, takes a strong culture of communicating across silos.

“The one thing I’m proud of with my team is the communication we have,” he says. “Understanding all the way throughout the organization what the priorities are and working together as a team – that’s all important to us. Our team is particular here because we deal with so many configurations and complexity of the builds that open and honest communication is crucial.”

In a typical day, the production floor holds 29 employees. Production employees go through daily standup meetings with the production supervisor, who highlights the day’s challenges, including all fulfillment expectations for special and rush orders. With this mindset, Server Technology team members go to their respective stations, which are broken up into four different areas. There is a cord prep area that deals with power cords, two assembly stations and a test station.

Foroszowsky said it’s not uncommon for an employee to rotate stations to keep them engaged and on their toes. The non-linear approach is by design.

“We try to maximize our agility out there, so if you look at our line, it’s segmented. It’s not a linear, straight-through sort of process,” Foroszowsky says. “We want to be more agile than that.”

Once the production day ends, the shift is capped with meetings where the team members discuss challenges, including any quality issues that may have arisen during the day. These are quickly addressed and the lessons carried over into the next shift.

Safety is also a high priority, Foroszowsky says.

“We deal in very high voltage as well as amperage units, so we have not only safety boxes we’ve created, but we have GFI boxes that’ll shut everything down in an instant to protect our employees,” he says. “Going through proper training, making sure they understand what the tests are, that’s critical.

In the end, the team’s top focus is on creating award-winning PDUs that meet – and hopefully exceed – customer expectations.

“We really focus on the customer and on getting things out,” he says.

Learn more about our line of basic, metered, smart and switched POPS PDus here.


Topics: Server Technology, stay powered

Server Technology Wins Large Company Manufacturing Excellence Award at the 5th Annual EDAWN Existing Industry Awards Event

Posted by Erik Stabile on Oct 14, 2016 10:43:07 AM


Server Technology was recognized for their valuable contributions after winning the Manufacturing Excellence Award for a large company from the Reno, Sparks, Tahoe Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN).  Last year, Server Technology won  Large Company of the Year Award.

The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN), dignitaries, community guests and Title Sponsor Server Technology celebrated today the contributions and successes of existing primary companies in the Greater Reno-Sparks area at the 5th Annual Existing Industry Awards Event held at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa.

More than 50 companies from Washoe County, the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center and Fernley, were recognized for their valuable contributions. The nominations were open to all primary companies doing business in the areas served by EDAWN.

"The existing primary companies in Northern Nevada make up the backbone of our regional economy. While these primary companies represent less than 5% of the companies in the region, they are responsible for approximately 50% of our jobs, and essentially drive our economy. This event provides an opportunity to the community to thank these companies and let them know we truly appreciate their investment, commitment to the region and their many contributions to our economic vitality" said Mike Kazmierski, CEO of EDAWN.  



The Economic Development Authority off Western Nevada is a private/public partnership established in 1983. EDAWN is committed to adding quality jobs to the region by recruiting new companies, supporting the success of existing companies, and assisting new forming companies to diversify the economy and have a positive impact on the quality of life in Greater Reno-Sparks.

Topics: awards

Sentry Power Manager’s Capacity Planning

Posted by Linda Kennedy on Oct 12, 2016 1:23:18 PM

Untitled-2-01.jpg“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up some place else.”  – Yogi Berra

Since the place you want to end up is in your data center that hums with efficiency, let Sentry Power Manager (SPM) leverage information from your intelligent rack PDUs to assist in cost-effective planning for the inevitable growth of your enterprise. Did you know SPM provides critical capacity information for growth?

These 3 easy ways make SPM as close to a crystal ball as you’ll ever get in your data center:

First, the circuits. An important reason to implement an energy management system is for capacity planning. Understanding not only how much power is available – but also knowing exactly which circuits that power is available on – optimizes use of the data center infrastructure.

Monitoring at the cabinet PDU is the best place to understand the breakdown of power usage throughout the data center. Not only can you use the measurements at the cabinet for understanding the capacity overhead of the branch circuit, but if properly aggregated, you can also estimate the amperage of all stages of distribution upstream.

SPM provides the means to set up physical aggregation points such as locations and zones that relate to power aggregation points within the enterprise – like RPP’s and UPS’s – for trending analysis and threshold alerts.

Next, a view of the future with predictive analysis. Growth in the data center comes with a variety of challenges. Often a major concern is the rising power consumption when equipment and applications are increased.

If you monitor power usage over time, you will often see an up and down usage trend with peaks at various times of the day, week, or month. When usage gradually increases over the long term, you may not notice the growth curve, which can eventually lead to a capacity pinch. To ensure uptime in the worst case scenario, you will at least need to plan for maximum power consumption.

SPM provides a trending feature that predicts – based on two separate parameters for time – what the power usage might be in the future, and an estimated date and time when capacity will be exceeded. What great information! You’ll be able to use it to be proactive about planning for additional needed resources. SPM even lets you set up an email notification to see when in the future the predictive trend shows power thresholds exceeded at the zone, location, or cabinet level. Your data center may change in ways you can’t predict today, but SPM can predict it!

Last, room for growth with cabinet devices. Along with power availability at the cabinet level, you also want to consider the critical importance of space availability for growth.

The physical location of equipment, like servers and switches, often needs the link to the outlets that are providing power to the equipment. Along with the potential need to reboot locked-up equipment, measurement of individual power supply consumption is becoming a priority in many data centers.

SPM provides an easy method for specifying exactly where in a cabinet a specific piece of equipment is mounted.

By assigning outlets from the cabinet PDU to the particular device, you can properly identify where the space and power availability are within each cabinet. Having this information can speed up installations and simplify new deployments. Plus, you can benefit from the high-accuracy outlet measurements of the POPS® intelligent rack PDU for an even more detailed picture of the devices within the cabinet.

So that’s why Sentry Power Manager is one of many great reasons why Server Technology is your power strategy expert!

See for yourself how easy setting up SPM really is in the 2-minute video How to Configure SPM.

Take a closer look at the power of SNAP for mass PDU configuration in the 3-part video playlist Welcome to SNAP.

Every data center should be using the award-winning Sentry Power Manager, so now’s the time to give easy configuration a test drive with the SPM 120-Day Free Trial.

Topics: Sentry Power System, data center power, capacity planning

Sentry Power Manager’s Versatile Reporting

Posted by Linda Kennedy on Oct 10, 2016 2:45:42 PM

Untitled-2-02.jpgWhen you look at report data are you bogged down with boredom? We thought you’d like the top reasons why Sentry Power Manager (SPM) puts bling into power metric reporting. Yes, it really does. After all, it’s SPM – the awarding-winning solution for your data center.

Server Technology firmly believes the information that SPM has waiting for you about your intelligent rack PDUs should support you – not you supporting the information. What if you could easily (and we do mean easily) get exactly what you want to know about your data center’s power and environmental status in a few seconds?

Reporting with SPM is fast and 2-way functionality allows you to make it your way.  Like texting with SPM. Well, sort of.


Here are the reasons why SPM is all about versatile reporting:

  • At-a-glance dashboard. Create NOC views that give you instant and colorful information about overall system status and the operational condition of networked rack PDUs. From the at-a-glance view of the entire system, you can drill-down to the specific working details of each networked device. A slideshow of all views offers you quick visual analysis and fast response to devices. With SPM, you are 100% in charge of your rack PDUs.
  • Totally custom reports. Create reports based on your priorities. Filter various report types with different parameters that are wrapped around more than 30 SPM report types, like Energy Consumed, Inventory, Carbon Footprint, Cabinet Redundancy, and many others. You decide which intelligent PDUs contribute their polled data to your tailored report, so you can see the data center from many different views – and always from your view.
  • Trending. SPM’s Trending feature is your power tool for troubleshooting device operations. Graphical trend reports pull huge amounts of operational data – like temperature and power usage – from thousands of intelligent PDUs. To keep you far ahead in the game, Trending’s predictive analysis is a forecast that uses patterns from historical reports to predict future risks and opportunities about PDU performance.
  • Report independence. You won’t need anything from another department; no engines, tools, or other stuff to buy. SPM reporting frees you from IT and how cool is that. Run your own report online in seconds any time. SPM will even schedule reports to be run and emailed whenever you want.
  • Central reporting. No more cutting and pasting data from here and there to create one patched-up report. All data from intelligent PDUs comes right from within SPM, and you just supply a few mouse clicks. No other travels needed to reach your report data – right here, right now; plus, save time in your data center by sharing any generated report with other SPM users.
  • Great looking reports. SPM reports and trend graphs are high-fashion whether displayed on your screen or rolling off the printer. Before you create a report, you get to preview how the report looks with the filters you selected, like grouping, output file format, time frame, and others depending on the report or trend type.
  • Export several file formats. Not only can you export a report but you can save it to a number of file formats like DOC, PDF, XML, XLS, and others. In a flash, SPM report data is at-the-ready to place into your spreadsheets and presentations.

That’s versatile reporting, right?

For a quick tour of SPM’s Report feature and a closer look at the go-to reports SPM users can’t live without, check out the 2-minute videos SPM Reports in a Nutshell and Top 3 SPM Reports.

Every data center should be using the award-winning Sentry Power Manager, so now’s the time for a test drive with the SPM 120-Day Free Trial.

Topics: data center power, SPM, Sentry Power Manager, data center reporting

What Would it Take to Bring Down Your Data Center?

Posted by Erik Stabile on Oct 5, 2016 12:29:17 PM


Earlier this month, the massive Global Switch data 2 center in London experienced an outage when a high-voltage circuit breaker failed in a diesel rotary UPS device.

According to Data Center Dynamics, the circuit breaker was part of Global Switch’s multi-floor H1 system. The system did successfully switch to the facility’s mains (alternating current electrical power) supply. However, the fault caused a 222 millisecond power break in the facility.

Some customers experienced performance issues as a result of the short outage. After a few hours, the majority of issues were resolved.

For cloud hosting provider Clarenet, however – the facility’s largest customer – it took two full days to recover fully. This is because Claranet has two feeds connected to the H1 system. And both failed.

“We are configured to keep power turned off if we see a failure in both of our power feeds,” explained Claranet technical director Martin Saunders. ”If both fail, you have to expect the worst.”

Fortunately, there was no lasting damage from the outage.

“Incidents of this nature are extremely rare,” stated Global Switch London managing director John Stevenson following the incident. “The Global Switch infrastructure protected supplies, but one of the four power stations experienced a 222 millisecond switching event. Throughout the weekend we sought to keep our customers fully informed at all times.”

This is a good lesson for data center operators, though: It’s the “extremely rare” incidents that can sneak up on you and create problems. Remember Murphy’s law – whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.

So, how secure is your data center? What would it take to cause an interruption in your power supply? And further, how quickly would you be able to recover if one were to occur?

Unfortunately, we here at Server Technology can’t prevent unexpected incidents from occurring. But we can keep your equipment safe when they arise.

For example, we offer the rack-mount Fail-Safe Transfer Switch (FSTS), which features two input power feeds from separate AC circuits. It can supply a single-power supply device with dual, redundant power sources.

Should a primary power source suddenly stop working, the FSTS switch will provide seamless connectivity to the secondary power source. There will be no interruption, meaning your business operations will be able to continue working as normal.

The great part about the FSTS is that you can easily toggle between the primary and secondary power sources. What’s more, it’s also possible to toggle between a high voltage (208 to 230V) or low (110 to 120V) operating range on the AC power source.

Want to learn more about how the FSTS can keep your data center operations running smoothly in the event of a power interruption? Click here for more information.


Topics: data center power, downtime

Sentry Power Manager’s Easy Configuration

Posted by Linda Kennedy on Oct 3, 2016 3:22:48 PM


SNAP-01.pngIf you’re a data center system administrator, you’ll agree that the key to your success is in the details – your absolute attention to details. Award-winning Sentry Power Manager (SPM) makes it unbelievably easy to set all the details of your intelligent rack PDUs just how you want them and right where you want them. So, you can breathe a sigh of relief for the easy configuration of SPM and the control over your data center – right down to the last detail.
Do you ever feel like what’s supposed to be intuitive turns out to be a pain to do? You might have worked with systems like that, but it won’t be Sentry Power Manager. The well-designed SPM graphical interface lets you zip through a custom configuration in three easy steps. That’s right, just three.

Step 1. Connecting. Set system-wide values for SPM, manage SPM users, and maintain system backups.

All system, network, and email notifications are right here in one place so you can first make all the necessary connections. Then you can quickly establish users, set up user groups and their resources, and get LDAP and TACACS+ ready to roll.

Step 2. Configuring PDUs. Set operational values for your intelligent rack PDUs and use SNAP to mass-configure multiple PDUs.

Discover devices by adding intelligent rack PDUs to the system so they’re recognized by SPM for network communication. Use Server Technology’s patented SNAP technology to quickly push down key system and security settings for mass PDU configuration. Manage all areas of your devices: operations: environment, outlets, thresholds, predictive power, and more.

Step 3. Alerting. Set the measurement-based areas of your intelligent rack PDUs like alerts for breaker or fuse errors per branch, status of monitors and sensors, and overload on device lines.

Specify thresholds for total power alerts, edit PDU name, and determine the PDU’s parent cabinet. Configure high/low critical/warning current (A) settings and the reference name for one or multiple SPM-discovered device lines.

That’s it for SPM configuration. Done and done!

See for yourself how easy setting up SPM really is in the 2-minute video How to Configure SPM.

Take a closer look at the power of SNAP for mass PDU configuration in the 3-part video playlist Welcome to SNAP.

Every data center should be using the award-winning Sentry Power Manager, so now’s the time to give easy configuration a test drive with the SPM 120-Day Free Trial.

Topics: SPM, Sentry Power Manager, SNAP

Free Sentry Power Manager Trial Just Got A Lot Better

Posted by Calvin Nicholson on Sep 30, 2016 9:41:51 AM


Maybe you’ve heard us mention our award-winning software, Sentry Power Manager, which gives you a birds-eye view of your data center’s power metrics in an easy-to-configure, simple-to-use browser window. Maybe you’ve even heard that we offer free trials of SPM for you to evaluate in your data center. But you almost certainly haven’t heard that we’ve expanded the trial period along with the number of node licenses for the duration of the trial. Consider yourself officially out of excuses to try SPM.

Click to Download a 120-Day Free Trial of SPM

First, a little background on SPM.

Designed with data center managers in mind, Sentry Power Manager is tightly coupled with Server Technology PDUs to measure power usage and other critical performance indicators. This data can then be rolled up into automatic trend reports to be shared with other key data center stakeholders.  

SPM is:

  1. An award-winning data center management solution
  2. Easy to configure
  3. Packed with versatile reporting features
  4. Great for capacity planning
  5. Easy to integrate with other systems
  6. The right tool to help you get ahead

For a limited time, we’re offering an expanded free trial to first-time SPM users. This trial includes a 120-day evaluation period (vs. 90 days previously), and an unlimited number of node IP licenses. This means you can run a fully-functional version of Sentry Power Manager in your data center for three months to really put it through its paces. For example, if you have 200 pairs of PDUs on your data center floor, you’ll be able to track the power usage of each and every one of them from now until the first of the year. Pretty sweet deal, no?

 Still not sure if SPM is right for your data center? Keep this in mind: SPM is built to scale within any sized data center, from a single PDU to thousands. Featuring three-phase load balancing, SNAP configuration, frequent software updates with new features and full support, SPM is undoubtedly right for your data center. Try it out free today. We know you’ll love it.

Topics: Sentry Power Manager

Power Management: The First Step in Data Center Sustainability

Posted by Josh Schaap on Sep 28, 2016 3:07:52 PM

Google Data Center

It’s never a good feeling reading about a truly green data center, and then realizing just how far behind your own data center ecosystem is in its sustainability efforts.

Take Google, for instance. On September 14, Google announced a new commitment to achieving “Zero Waste to Landfill” in its data centers. As Google Technical Program Manager Rachel Futrell explained on the Google Green Blog, Google is striving to divert waste away from its data centers in a sustainable way. Six of its 14 sites are now achieving 100 percent diversion rates. Globally, Google is now diverting at least 86 percent of waste away from landfills. And Google wants to improve these figures!

“Sustainability doesn’t end with a really low PUE for our data centers,” Fuller stated.

That’s pretty impressive. But in a way, it’s like sitting next to the kid in class who is getting straight A’s and is volunteering for extra credit assignments. Your business, on the other hand, is using as much power as a small city.

We feel your pain.

PUE, in case you’re unfamiliar with the term, stands for power usage effectiveness. It’s a metric used to determine overall data center power efficiency. A PUE measurement of 2.0 means that for every watt of power consumed in the data center, an extra watt is deployed for power or resource distribution purposes.

It’s important to realize that Google has an average PUE of about 1.12, which means that almost all of its electricity is put towards computing. Most data centers hover closer to 2.0.

How is Google able to attain such a low rating? It’s simple: Google tracks and measures power consumption over time, and uses the data it collects to continuously reduce its footprint.

In other words, Google has mastered power management. And now, the company can focus on higher-level sustainability efforts without having to worry about being labeled a “green washer,” or a company that claims to be sustainable but cannot provide evidence.

Here’s the good news:

You can master PUE in your data center, too, with the help of Server Technology’s Per Outlet Power Sensing power distribution units (POPS PDUs) and Sentry Power Manager (SPM) platform.

Here’s how it works:

Server Technology’s PDUs can report total power draw within each cabinet in your data center. Power draw can be tracked in real time, and on a historical basis. This data can then easily be compared with your facility’s total power draw. Once sufficient data is collected and analyzed, you can then determine an appropriate course of action for reducing total power consumption.

SPM makes it easy to understand the metrics it collects through its versatile reporting system. Within SPM, it’s possible to set schedules for viewing metrics such as your carbon footprint and total energy consumption.

So don’t wait any longer to “go green.” Click here to get started. 


Topics: data center power, PUE, power usage efficiency

Consolidating Your Data Centers? Focus on Power Management

Posted by Erik Stabile on Sep 19, 2016 9:16:12 AM


The U.S. Department of Defense is currently consolidating and closing hundreds of data centers, in an effort to reduce overall IT-related operating expenses.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the agency is also rationalizing its applications and systems portfolios as it prepares to migrate workloads into core and enterprise data centers.

The overhaul is part of the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, a plan implemented in 2010 to reduce hardware, software and operations costs within federal data centers. The initiative also mandates agencies integrate efficient computing platforms, increase security measures and use more green IT solutions.

What’s more, the DoD has an internal target goal to close 60 percent of its data centers by 2018. At the end of 2015, only 18 percent were closed. And last year, its budget exceeded $36 billion.

So will the consolidation effort actually result in cost savings for the agency?

In the short term, consolidation should help. By strategically closing certain facilities and eliminating some of its servers, it’s to be expected that the DoD will immediately slash costs and reduce waste.

To achieve significant long term  IT cost savings, however, it will require one major component: Comprehensive, real-time and historical power usage data for each data center cabinet.

Here’s why:

The DoD is a massive department. Its scope expands well beyond the walls of the Pentagon. As the DoD explained in a report, if the agency were a corporation it would be at the top of the Fortune 100. The DoD is in charge of overseeing 1.3 million active military personnel, as well as 742,000 civilian personnel. Plus, it has 826,000 members in the National Guard and Reserve forces. In fact, it’s one of the largest employers in the U.S.

“DoD also manages an inventory of installations and facilities, and its physical plant is vast by any standard, comprising more than several hundred thousand individual buildings and structures located at more than 5,000 different locations or sites,” the report explained. “When all sites are added together, the Department utilizes over 30 million acres of land.”

This is an organization, in other words, with tens of thousands of servers and millions of computers. And over the next few years, the DoD – like every other organization – will be experiencing a massive influx of data and devices. So while its footprint may be shrinking, it’s still important to monitor server  workloads on a regular basis. If left unchecked, data center operations could easily spiral out of control again within the next decade – completely negating its current effort to scale down operations.

The DoD – as well as any organization that is looking to reduce costs and improve efficiencies – should strongly consider implementing solutions for tracking and measuring data center power usage.

Server Technology can help with this initiative.

Server Technology’s smart and switched power distribution units (PDU) contain Per Outlet Power Sensing (POPS) technology. These devices can provide detailed feedback on metrics like voltage, power (kW), apparent power, crest factor and power factor.

When used in conjunction with Server Technology’s Sentry Power Manager (SPM) solution, data center operators can effectively track and measure power usage over time.

It’s the most precise solution on the market for aligning long term power reduction goals with actual daily electrical outputs.

For more information, click here.

Topics: data center consolidation, data center power management, government consolidation