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Five Reasons to be Thankful for Intelligent Data Center PDUs

Posted by RJ Tee on Nov 21, 2017 10:15:11 AM

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One tool that every data center administrator can be thankful for this year is intelligent power distribution units (PDUs). Recent advancements in the data center PDU market have drastically improved the way that power is managed at the rack level. Over the last few years, intelligent PDUs have gone from a disruptive new technology to a staple tool — and something that every data center should be using to streamline efficiencies.

So in the spirit of Turkey Day, here are five reasons to be thankful for intelligent PDUs.

Intelligent PDUs…

1. Help control costs:

Data centers are notoriously expensive. But oftentimes, it has little to do with the cost of power more to do with the fact that data center administrators have little to no idea how power is being distributed around the data center. Intelligent PDUs allow administrators to see exactly where power is being allocated in the data center.

2. Improve sustainability:

Many organizations today are “going green” in some form or another. But many are failing to address their heavy data center power footprints. Data centers can consume enormous amounts of energy. By measuring power at the rack level with an intelligent PDU, data center administrators can better understand how servers are consuming resources — and take active measures to eliminate waste.

Read how you can benefit with the top environmental monitoring tools.

3. Streamline reporting:

In the past, the majority of data center reporting was done using either pencil and paper-based systems, or spreadsheets. Both of these systems were prone to fraud and abuse. Intelligent PDUs can connect to Web-based monitoring and management systems, which can collect data, organize it into reports and export these reports to team members via email.

4. Identify zombie servers:

Data centers often have hundreds or even thousands of “zombie” servers, or idle machines that suck up power. The problem is that it’s not easy to tell which machines are active, and which ones are zombies. Intelligent PDUs can provide immediate insight, allowing administrators to shut down inactive machines and prevent waste.

5. Improve uptime:

Ultimately, there is one word that every administrator fears: Downtime. Intelligent PDUs come with advanced power alerts and also environmental monitoring—something that is critical for data centers located in areas that are subject to extreme weather shifts. Using intelligent PDUs, administrators can gain better visibility into how their systems are performing.

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Topics: intelligent power strip, uptime, green data center, intelligent PDUs, smart, zombie servers, Switched PDU, smart PDU, Switched

Single vs. Three Phase Power Distribution - Know the Difference

Posted by RJ Tee on Nov 17, 2017 10:59:00 AM

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Originially Posted Jan 30, 2017 - Updated Nov 17, 2017

Electricity is the single most important resource in a data center, as it’s needed for powering every system — from the servers on the floor to the lights overhead.

At the same time, electricity is incredibly expensive, dangerous and easy to mismanage — especially when considering the sheer volume of power that is typically used. Some facilities, after all, use enough electricity to power hundreds of thousands of homes. Even though energy efficiency is now top of mind for data center administrators, there’s no getting around the fact that data centers consume a great deal of power. As such, it’s vital to have the correct underlying power distribution system in place before moving in and setting up any equipment.

Many customers, however, are still asking whether they should use single or three-phase rack mount PDUs in their data centers. This article will explore the basic differences between the two systems.

single vs three phase power wavelengths

What makes these systems different?

Single-phase power systems distribute up to 120V of alternating current. This current is distributed over two wires: A single, active conductor and a neutral one. The current changes size and direction at regular intervals. Single-phase wires are usually grounded at the switchboard.  

These systems are mostly used in residential settings that have small workloads. They are rarely used in data centers today, as the majority of cabinets are too dense and require more electricity than single-phase systems can provide. And this is where three-phase systems come into play.


What makes three-phase power distribution the better choice for data centers?

Three-phase power systems are comprised of three alternating currents, each varying in phase by 120 degrees.

To illustrate the difference between single and three-phase power distribution, think of waves crashing onto a beach. Normally a wave crashes, recedes back into the ocean and then a few seconds later another wave follows. This is like a single-phase alternating current.

Read more about single-phase rack mount power distrubtion solutions

Now, imagine there is no time between waves as they crash onto shore. As soon as one wave hits, another is there to follow, and then another. This is what three-phase alternating current looks like. The power flow never ebbs; it always flows. It’s the difference between using a single 120V alternating current for power, versus one that combines a 208V circuit with three more 120V circuits.

So, if someone is recommending single-phase power distribution for your data center, make sure you get a second opinion from a certified power expert. If you are operating a large data center that is carrying heavy workloads, you should strongly consider using a three-phase power distribution system.

Server Technology offers a variety of solutions that support three-phase electricity systems, as well as the Sentry Power Manager (SPM), a centralized data center power monitoring and management platform. 

To learn more about Server Technology, click here.

New Application Note Learn about the benefits of the HDOT® single-phase solution

Topics: three phase, single phase, three phase power

Every Data Center Needs Real-time Reporting

Posted by RJ Tee on Nov 14, 2017 11:14:29 AM

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Over the last few years, something has been happening in the business world: Communications have been speeding up at an aggressive pace.

Now, we are living a real-time world where processes that used to take hours or days can now happen almost instantaneously.

This is true across all levels of the enterprise, ranging from marketing to sales to design. And it’s happening in the data center, too. In fact, the data center is now leading the drive for real-time communications.

In the past, for instance, data center administrators were at a major disadvantage while trying to drive power-related efficiencies. Most data center reporting was done manually, in spreadsheets. It took a long time to request and generate reports, and it was hard to share these reports with team members. What’s more, these reports were often riddled with errors.

Human error, it should be noted, is one of the causes of data center downtime.

Now, the data center power monitoring process can be fully-automated with the help of intelligent, IP connected power distribution units (PDUs). By providing real-time power monitoring at the rack level, data center administrators can gain instant access to power usage metrics and then use the information to make improvements that can boost uptime and reduce operating costs.

Server Technology provides a wide array of customizable data center power management solutions including the advanced Sentry Power Manager (SPM) platform. To learn more about how Server Technology can provide your data center with real-time monitoring and reporting technologies, click here.

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Topics: intelligent power strip, environmental monitoring, intelligent PDUs, real time monitoring

Is Your UPS System Ready for Winter?

Posted by RJ Tee on Nov 13, 2017 2:37:34 PM

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According to the latest Farmer’s Almanac, much of the U.S. is in store for a cold, wet winter that will stretch well into March. At least five major storms expected to hit the eastern seaboard.

In just a few short weeks — when the snow starts falling — we will learn which businesses are prepared for winter, and which are not. Businesses that take the time to plan ahead and invest in disaster recovery and business continuity will have a major competitive advantage.

One thing you will want to pay attention to as you winterize your data center is the operability of your uninterruptable power supply (UPS) system. According to a recent study, UPS system failure is now the leading cause of data center downtime.  In fact, UPS system failure now accounts for one quarter of all data center outages.

Remember: When the power goes out, there can’t be any question as to whether or not your UPS system will turn on.  Server Technology can provide you with that peace of mind.


The other leading causes of data center downtime are cybercrime/ DDoS; accidental/ human error; water, heat or CRAC failure; generator failure; and IT equipment failure.

What’s more, 35 percent of organizations lost at least one mission critical application following an outage, while 24.3 percent lost multiple mission critical applications. 18.8 percent lost most or all of their data center functions. And 12.1 percent lost data that could not be recovered.

One way to reduce downtime in your data center is to invest in real-time power monitoring at the rack level. Using Server Technology’s intelligent power distribution units and Sentry Power Manager platform, you can gain advanced insight into the functionality of all of your data center infrastructure.

To learn more how Server Technology can help your business, click here.

Click To Learn More About Server Technology's  Switched Rack PDU Solutions

Topics: intelligent power strip, Sentry Power Manager, uptime, intelligent PDUs, UPS, Switched PDU, smart PDU

Use Data Center PDUs to Reach Your Corporate Social Responsibility Goals

Posted by RJ Tee on Nov 10, 2017 10:39:14 AM

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It’s important to realize that data centers — which are notorious energy hogs — need to be front and center in a CSR strategy. It’s impossible to build an effective and honest CSR strategy without reigning in and controlling your data center’s power output.

So, how do you control your data center’s power output? The easiest, and most effective way, is to invest in tools that provide real-time power monitoring and environmental reporting at the rack level.

Click here to view the top tools Server Technology recommends for environmental monitoring.

Before you can make any real changes that will make your data center eco-friendly, you need to first understand exactly how your facility is consuming electricity on a daily basis. Without this information, you will essentially be relying on guesswork — and this could lead to more harm than good.

knowing is half the battle

 

Server Technology provides a variety of intelligent data center power distribution units (PDUs), including the option to build your own modular high density solution. In fact, Server Technology offers the most outlets in a 42U intelligent rack PDU with industry-standard C19 and C13 outlets.

Sever Technology also offers the Sentry Power Manger (SPM) solution, for Web-based management and streamlined reporting.

For more information about how Server Technology can help your organization achieve its CSR goals with its intelligent PDUs and power management solutions, click here.

 

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Topics: intelligent power strip, Sentry Power Manager, green data center, intelligent PDUs, corporate social responsibility

Who Put the ‘i’ in PDU?

Posted by RJ Tee on Nov 6, 2017 8:17:24 AM

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As I was sitting around the other day and casting about for a topic for this blog post, my colleagues jokingly suggested that we talk about this trend of putting an ‘i’ in front of everything. You know, how an intelligent PDU can be called iPDU or even IP-PDU, the now-normal branding standard of our modern age, the world of iEverything. 

The ‘i’ in the first iMac stood for Internet, not necessarily intelligent. At the time, the idea of an internet-based personal computer was quite revolutionary. The ‘i’ moniker also brings to mind another intelligent ’i’ product, introduced by German sports car company BMW and infamously known as the iDrive. While it originally stood for intelligent, the ‘i’ quickly became known to stand for ‘infuriating.’

My favorite ‘i’ is in the title of the collection of short stories called by Isaac Asimov called I, Robot. In this instance, the ‘i’ can both stand for intelligent and for the first person personal pronoun. In other words the ‘I’ that means ‘me.’ This is the most personal of the uses of ‘i,’ and it is an interesting play on words since there is no personal ‘I’ in a machine. That’s because a machine does not possess a personality or even a soul.

Well, most of them...

So what out of all of this talk about iPDUs – or even better yet, IP-PDUs? This is me trying to swim back to the shallow end of the pool.

I must say that I think all the different meanings of ‘i’ apply in the case of intelligent power distribution units. As the name itself implies, the modern power strip possesses a lot of smarts. By this I mean it can provide volumes of physical data and other environmental information, as well as give you the ability to control its function remotely through it's own IP address, hence, the IP-PDU designation I'm suggesting.

But like the first knob shifter introduced by BMW, intelligent power strips (IP-strips?  Maybe I've gone too far...), or IP-PDU’s  , can also be infuriating. Their smarts come with a provisioning learning curve that makes it tricky for some to put the machine into drive. But with zero touch provisioning, much of this IP-based task has become automated.

And as for the existential question posed by the ‘i’ in I, Robot, I will leave that to you to decide. Do you have conversations with your rack PDUs? And when you speak to them, do they answer back? Don’t you sometimes feel like you have formed a relationship, one that has been very rewarding?

Server Technology was the first to automate configuration and provisioning of their Intelligent PRO Series PDUs via Zero Touch Provisioning, and can therefore occasionally wax philosophical about rack PDUs. For a more serious treatment of the subject, please see our Zero Touch Provisioning whitepaper, or head to our website to see all our intelligent PDUs.

 Learn More About  Server Technology's Intelligent PDUs

Topics: intelligent power strip, power strip, intelligent PDUs, Switched PDU, smart PDU

Legrand, North and Central America Expands Data Power and Control Capabilities with the Acquisition of Server Technology, Inc.

Posted by Legrand US on Nov 2, 2017 1:00:43 PM

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The acquisition of Server Technology positions Legrand, North and Central America as a leading provider of data center power and control solutions.

Repost from Legrand.us - Original Post

WEST HARTFORD, Conn., November 2, 2017– Legrand, North and Central America (LNCA), an innovation leader in power, light and data technologies for homes, workplaces and data centers, today announced the purchase of Server Technology, Inc., a leading provider of rack power distribution units and power management software for critical infrastructures such as labs, data centers, and telecommunications facilities. The acquisition will enhance Legrand’s global leadership position in the data center power industry and expand PDU offerings for key customer segments such as hyperscale, colocation, and global enterprise end-users.

Server Technology will become part of LNCA’s Data Center Power and Control division, which also includes Raritan. Both the Server Technology and Raritan businesses will continue to operate independently, offering customers a broad array of products and solutions to meet the complex power demands of today’s constantly evolving data centers.

“The acquisition of Server Technology demonstrates Legrand’s continuing commitment to innovation and leadership in the data center market,” said John Selldorff, President and CEO of LNCA. “Server Technology’s robust offering of intelligent PDU product lines, including -48 VDC, as well as basic power strips, will complement our current PDU and KVM offerings from Raritan and strengthen our ability to meet the complex needs of the data center marketplace.”

“We are excited to join LNCA and provide customers with a broader product portfolio, as well as advanced R&D capabilities and an expanded global reach,” said Brandon Ewing, General Manager of Server Technology. “The combination of Server Technology and Raritan will enable us to provide accelerated product development, better service, and faster response times to customers in North America and across the globe.”

Visit Legrand.us for more information. 

(Original Post)

# # #

About Legrand and Legrand, North and Central America

Legrand is a global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures. Its comprehensive offering of solutions for use in commercial, industrial, and residential markets makes it a benchmark for customers worldwide. Innovation for a steady flow of new products with high added value is a prime vector for growth, including, in particular, connected devices stemming from Legrand’s globalEliot (Electricity and IoT) program. Legrand reported sales of $5.6 billion in 2016. Legrand has a strong presence in North and Central America, with a portfolio of well-known market brands and product lines that includes AFCO Systems, C2G, Cablofil, Chief, Da-Lite, Electrorack, Finelite, Luxul, Middle Atlantic Products, Nuvo, OCL, On-Q, Ortronics, Pass & Seymour, Pinnacle, QMotion, Quiktron, Raritan, Sanus, Server Technology, Solarfective, Vaddio, Vantage, Wattstopper, and Wiremold. Legrand is listed on Euronext Paris and is a component stock of indexes including the CAC40, FTSE4Good, MSCI World, ASPI, Corporate Oekom Rating, and DJSI (ISIN code FR0010307819) www.legrand.us.

 

About Server Technology

Server Technology's power strategy experts are trusted to provide Rack PDU solutions for demanding data centers worldwide ranging from small technology startups to Fortune 100 powerhouses. Over 60,000 customers around the world rely on our rack power distribution units and award winning remote power management solutions to increase density, facilitate capacity planning, improve power monitoring, and drive efficiency. Because power is all we do, you will find us in the best cloud and co-location providers, forward thinking labs and telecommunications operations. Server Technology customers consistently rank us as providing the highest quality PDU's, the best customer support and most valuable innovation. Let us show you; we have over 12,000 PDU configurations to fit every datacenter need and 80% of our PDU's are shipped within 10 days. Only with Server Technology will customers Stay Powered, Be Supported and Get Ahead. www.servertech.com

 

Media Contacts:

Rikki Crea
Director, Corporate Communications
Legrand, North and Central America
[email protected]

 

Topics: Server Technology, Legrand, Acquisition

Using a Horizontal vs. a Vertical Rack PDU, Part Deux

Posted by RJ Tee on Nov 1, 2017 4:16:23 PM

Horizontal-vs-Vertical-PDU-pt2.pngIn a recent blog post from these pages, we discussed several situations in which you might consider using horizontal power distribution units in lieu of the more common vertical power distribution devices. Based on responses to our post, we decided to provide more feedback on going horizontal. 

We discussed several situations in our previous post that favor the use of the more compact horizontal PDU. Some of the reasons include distributing power from a rack-mounted UPS, or when you have space at the back of the rack left by shallow IT equipment such as those half-sized switches and routers. We also discussed situations in which additional air flow through the sides of the cabinet could be advantageous.

’But,’ you asked, ‘don’t I have to compromise on the modern features that I have grown to know and love so well?’ Mon frère.

Do you really think we would do that to you? Not a chance. The reality is that horizontal power strips pack the same feature set as “more sophisticated” vertical rack PDUs. In fact, when it comes to sophistication, both our horizontal and vertical power distribution units are on equal ground.

Here are a couple of questions that we received as well as our answers, to help clarify what is available when you decide to go horizontal:

Can my PDU still have intelligent features? Yes, you can have your cake and eat it, too. Our horizontal PDUs come in Switched, Switched POPS, Smart, and Metered varieties. We also have it on good authority that our horizontal power strips likewise feature the Sentry Power Manager monitoring platform.

What about three phase power? Mon dieu! But, of course.

Am I limited to one outlet type? Au contraire. If you need multiple outlet types in a single unit, we can take care of that, too.

So when it comes to exploring horizontal rack PDUs, just say oui.

Server Technology is your power strategy expert. Head here for 1, 2, 3, and 4U Horizontal PDUs, and here for 0-U, or Vertical PDUs. We have solutions that allow you to configure in both the X-axis as well as the Y.

 Click to

Topics: horizontal PDU, vertical PDU

What’s The Difference Between AC and DC Power?

Posted by Eric Giacomini on Oct 26, 2017 3:45:00 PM

Originally posted on Mar 2, 2015 - updated Oct 26, 2017

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Do you question the best way to transmit electricity to network devices throughout your data center? Some argue that alternating current (AC) is the less expensive and accessible method of using power, while others claim that it’s safer and more efficient to use direct current (DC).

What’s the difference between the two types of current? In a nutshell, AC wavelength changes direction, while DC’s is constant, or a “direct,” line. In the U.S., AC wavelengths oscillate at a frequency of 60 Hz per second. Due to the fact that AC power changes direction, you simply need a transistor to adjust the voltage, or force that pushes the current.

The voltage in a DC supply unit (such as a fuel cell), by comparison, cannot be changed unless the power supply is altered or turned off, such as with a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) system. DC is, therefore, less efficient and affordable to transmit than AC power, but it can be accomplished.

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What’s the better power solution for your data center? The truth is that they both have specific uses. It’s not a matter of choosing one or the other. In fact, migrating away from AC would be impractical and difficult because your facility is most likely wired to receive it already. It’s much less expensive and much more practical to use AC directly from the power grid for your daily data center power needs. Most data centers take AC, convert it to DC to power fuel cells and batteries, and then convert it back to AC to power their machines.

Server Technology carries a full line of rack mount power strips that allow you to feed AC or DC power to your data center equipment cabinets or remote site all while providing advanced power monitoring metrics and management capabilities.

 View AC PDU Products     View DC PDU Products

 

 

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Topics: data center power, DC power, AC Power

Environmental Monitoring: Mission Critical Monitoring, or Mission Impossible?

Posted by RJ Tee on Oct 23, 2017 6:45:00 AM

data center environmental monitoring mission impossible

Data center environmental monitoring is nothing new.  Systems such as the first Sensaphones have been around for decades, dialing out on POTS lines to report on space, power, and cooling.  But don’t get me wrong – we’ve come a long way, baby.

Haven’t we?

As our friends at the Green Grid have correctly noted, you cannot improve what you are not measuring.  It is safe to say that, up until now, we have never had access to the volume of information we can capture now, nor could we process it into useful and actionable data.  But one thing has not changed, and that is the fact that we still rely on probes and sensors to capture all those little kernels of information.

What if I told you that Server Technology, known around the globe as the power strategy expert, with its team of electrical engineers and their trophy wall of industry patents, is really a data center environmental monitoring firm in disguise?  Or that a typical rack PDU is an advanced monitoring solution with a little power distribution thrown in to keep up the ruse?

Yeah, I’ll accept ‘crazy’ as your answer, but hear me out, Ethan Hunt.

What’s more, did you notice that we are capturing information at the source, from the source? 

Since our rack PDUs speak BACnet and Modbus, you can report the information back to the DCIM package of your choice.  The information gathered can provide instant feedback on environmental conditions, as well as the numbers you need to evaluate your PUE, cooling efficiency, power utilization, capacity planning, and more.

Not bad for a rack PDU. 

Click here for more information about Server Technology’s mission, or check out our full field report on Advances in Power and Environmental Monitoring.  Or stand watch with the Sentry Power Manger.

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Topics: Sentry Power Manager, environmental monitoring, DCIM, intelligent PDUs

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