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Upset About the Paris Climate Agreement? Here’s Something You Can Do

Posted by RJ Tee on Jun 20, 2017 8:08:00 AM

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Business leaders on both sides of the political aisle are charged up about the fact that the U.S. has pulled out of the international Paris climate agreement.

Many companies — particularly those who have been heavily invested in making their data centers more energy efficient — feel like their efforts have been in vain. There is a sense of hopelessness about the state of the climate that is spreading across the country.

Here at Server Technology, though, we are reminding our customers that just because the U.S. is no longer part of the Paris climate agreement doesn’t mean that the struggle is over. In fact, several cities and states are now looking for ways to continue fighting climate change on their own regardless of the strategy that the federal government is now using.

Your business can continue fighting climate change with the help of Server Technology’s advanced data center power monitoring and management solutions.

Server Technology offers a variety of helpful products ranging from basic PDUs to smart and metered options. Server Technology also offers the Sentry Power Manager (SPM) platform, for real-time and historical power reporting.

Using these solutions, you can gain complete visibility and control over your data center’s power consumption.

Remember: If your business wants to truly go green, the fight starts in the data center. Data centers can use a remarkable amount of energy, and oftentimes a large percentage of power is wasted on “zombie” servers that run all the time even though they are not being actively used. The trick is to locate these zombie servers, determine how much energy they are using, and then determine a proper course of action.   (You can learn more about zombie servers here in this interview with Server Technology’s Senior Director of Software and Firmware Development.)  

So if you’re fed up about climate change, then you’ve come to the right place. To learn more about how Server Technology can help your business maintain a responsible and eco-friendly data center, click here.

Topics: energy efficiency, SPM, Sentry Power Manager, Data Center Efficiency

Don't Underestimate the Risk of Human Error in the Data Center

Posted by RJ Tee on Jun 13, 2017 8:15:00 AM

On May 27, a major international airline was forced to cancel more than 400 flights following a critical data center power outage.

According to Network World, the trouble started when an engineer disconnected a critical power supply at a London-based data center. When the engineer tried to reconnect the system, it generated a large power surge that in turn caused the outage. Sources indicate that the power-up was handled “in an unplanned and uncontrolled fashion.”

Altogether, 75,000 people were stranded at the airport following the incident. And the power surge also created a considerable amount of damage for the airline — to the tune of at least $112 million.

Of course, this is just one example of human error causing a major interruption at an organization. In fact, Network World pointed to a 2016 Ponemon Institute study claiming that human error is now the top cause of data center outages.

So for data center administrators, this begs the question:

What can you do to mitigate the risk of human error when handling sensitive data center power equipment?

Server Technology offers fail-safe power redundancy through its family of FSTS PDUs, which are available in smart, metered and switched models. These PDUs contain embedded branch circuit protection. Plus, managers can use FSTS PDUs to cycle power to outlets or groups for safe power-ups and power-downs.

View the Fail Safe Transfer Switch Data Sheet

Administrators can also use Server Technology’s Sentry Power Manager (SPM) to control access at the rack level. This can prevent unauthorized or unqualified individuals from accidentally cutting off power to a particular rack.

Discover the FSTS Family of PDUs

Topics: SPM Sentry Power Manager, human error, Fail-Safe power redundancy, FSTS

How to Calculate Three Phase Power in the Data Center (And Why it’s Important)

Posted by RJ Tee on Jun 5, 2017 9:28:30 AM

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To illustrate the importance of calculating three phase power in the data center, let’s pretend you are going to cook a meal for a big group of people. As simple as it sounds, first you’ll need to figure out how many guests will be arriving so you don’t run out of food and wind up in a pinch.

In the data center, this planning process is called capacity planning. Only in this case, instead of feeding food to people, you are feeding electricity to servers.

Electricity is expensive, and dangerous; if you exceed your allotted power thresholds, you could wind up paying more and damaging your equipment or starting a fire. So before you approach an electrician about purchasing power breakers and cables, it’s important to have a clear idea of how much power each room will require.

So, how do you actually go about this?”

“To me the easiest way to solve three phase problems is to convert them to a single phase problem,” explains Steven McFayden of myElectricalEngineering. “Take a three phase motor (with three windings, each identical) consuming a given kW.  The kW per winding (single phase) has to be the total divided by 3.  Similarly a transformer (with three windings, each identical) supplying a given kVA will have each winding supplying a third of the total power.  To convert a  three phase problem to a single phase problem take the total kW (or kVA) and divide by three.”

Server Technology makes it easy to calculate three phase power in the data center, with the Sentry Power Manager (SPM) platform and purpose-built, three-phase power distribution units (PDUs).

To learn more, click here.

Topics: Sentry Power Manager, three phase, three phase power

Overcome Environmental Challenges at the Edge with Server Technology

Posted by RJ Tee on May 30, 2017 10:45:14 AM

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Many businesses today are exploring edge computing, a process that involves decentralizing core network infrastructure and pushing it closer to end users in localized markets. With edge computing, the goal is to reduce long haul data transmissions, resulting in improved performance and lower operating costs. It can also provide access to localized analytics, which can help businesses understand and respond more effectively to users’ needs.

There are, however, some critical logistical issues at play in edge environments that need to be considered in order to experience a successful deployment — one of the most important being changing environmental conditions in and around edge data centers.

Download the White Paper on Edge Computing to Learn More

Here are some things that data center administrators need to be careful of:

Unfamiliar weather patterns: Opening an edge data center in a localized market will mean branching out into potentially unfamiliar climates. For instance, an organization based out of Texas could be in for a wild ride by opening up a data center in New England, where the weather can unexpectedly change by the hour—resulting in fluctuations in air pressure, temperature, and humidity. Data center administrators need to be able to respond immediately when environmental conditions change, as it can impact computing equipment.

Natural disasters:  Right now it’s still hard to tell how this year’s hurricane season will pan out. In the Central Pacific, for instance, there is a 40 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season and a 20 percent chance that it will be below-normal. Altogether, at least 5 to 8 tropical storms are expected in the area. Therefore, it’s critical to ensure that backup power systems at edge facilities are fully functioning and ready for seamless failover in the event of a major storm.

Accidents: Last month, San Francisco suffered from a major power outage when a fire broke out in a substation. It was a stark reminder that accidents can happen when they are least expected, causing chaos in facilities that are unprepared. Heating and cooling systems can break. Sprinkler systems can accidentally go off. When such things happen, administrators need to be notified immediately to prevent major damage.

Server Technology provides switched rack power distribution units with embedded Per Outlet Power Sensing (POPS) functionality, for advanced power monitoring and management in edge data centers. In addition to providing real-time environmental and power monitoring, these racks can also provide historical environmental reports to aid in long-term planning.

Using Server Technology’s advanced PDUs, in conjunction with the Sentry Power Manger platform, data center administrators can actively respond to important environmental changes at the edge of the network while reducing downtime and controlling costs.

To learn more about Server Technology’s approach to edge computing, check out this white paper.

Topics: Sentry Power Manager, environmental monitoring, environmental alerts, Edge Computing

All About Alerts: How SPM Keeps You on the Top of Your Game

Posted by RJ Tee on May 24, 2017 11:39:57 AM

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When your alarm clock goes off in the morning, there’s a good chance you react with something short of enthusiasm. “But I just fell asleep!” you shout to no one in particular. You’re tempted to toss the thing across the room, but then you remember your alarm clock is your $700 smartphone that contains 1,000 times the computing power of the original Mercury space ships. So, you gently dismiss the alert and start the business of waking for the day.

Annoying as alarms can be, they’re also vital to our lives. Without them, we’d be late to work, miss important flights or forget about doctor’s appointments. The same philosophy has gone into Sever Technology’s Sentry Power Manager, our award-winning software that provides a single pane of glass through which to view all your data center smart rackmount PDUs, wherever they are in the world.

With the ability to remotely monitor and manage power and environmental conditions in your data center, SPM provides the ultimate in data center efficiency, proving to be a money-saver from the start. Here’s a look at some of Sentry Power Manager’s top alerts, reports, and tools:

SPM Reports in a Nutshell

  1. Energy Consumed Reports: This shows your data center’s total kilowatt usage and is invaluable when you’re tasked with overseeing efficiency and cost. You can choose the power type, outlet or infeed. SPM will show you this data grouped by location, cabinet, PDU or other customized views.
  2. Cabinet Redundancy Report: When you have A & B power feeds for PDUs within the same cabinet, this report shows users where the PDU is within acceptable safety limits and warns when power is exceeding these limits.
  3. Inventory Report: This shows you model numbers, serial numbers, power ratings, current firmware versions and more. This also reduces the amount of time needed to look up individual PDU information if you ever need to contact Server Technology’s customer support.
  4. Trending Reports: These reports aggregate a massive amount of data, including temperature, humidity, and power usage from your PDUs to predict future risks.
  5. Email Alerts: Create, save and schedule reports to be sent automatically via email. You can generate system reports on trends and email them to a pre-defined list of recipients. This is a huge time-saver and it ensures that critical information is being passed along to the right people in your organization.
  6. SNMP Trap Forwarding and Alarms: Set up real-time PDU status and alarm notification via dynamic reports (SNMP traps), which allows monitoring and outlet control over conditions such as humidity, power, and temperature.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what Sentry Power Manager can do. Discover more features by taking it for a test drive with a free, 120-day trial. Then, visit our YouTube page to learn more about how to set up alerts and reports in Sentry Power Manager.

Topics: power reporting, Alerts, SPM

Congrats DCS Data Centre Individual of the Year.....Marc Marazzi!

Posted by RJ Tee on May 22, 2017 9:18:40 AM

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Marc Marazzi, VP of International Sales, has put Server Technology on the map in the global market- growing the international team from three to ten members over the course of five years.  Because of these efforts, we are able to better provide our customers with exceptional products and services, regardless of their location or application.

 

Topics: DCS Awards

Every Week Should Be Hurricane Preparedness Week

Posted by RJ Tee on May 19, 2017 2:22:10 PM

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Take a hard look at your data center, and ask this tough question: If a hurricane were to hit right now, and you were to lose power, how would your facility fare? Does your data center have a reliable backup system that would immediately kick in?

In case you aren’t aware, May 7 to 13 was National Hurricane Preparedness Week in the U.S. — a time for coastal businesses to assess their operations and plan ahead for disaster recovery. But here at Server Technology, we think this should take place every week!

What should you expect out of this year’s hurricane season? Experts are predicting that the 2017 Pacific hurricane season may be starting early. And there should be an average number of storms to contend with on the east coast, too.

The truth, though, is that major hurricanes can come out of nowhere, when they are least expected — so you always need to be prepared. And even if your business is out of the danger zone for hurricanes, you still need to be ready for other disasters like fires, floods or even tornados.

When assessing your data center’s disaster recovery plan, it’s vital that you account for one critical component: Power management.

Server Technology’s intelligent power distribution units — and Sentry Power Manger (SPM)— platform can provide valuable information about how your data center and its critical backup systems are using energy.

These solutions can collect valuable metrics at the rack level, and transmit them directly to a centralized, Web-based console where they can be easily accessed. Equipped with this technology, data center managers can identify areas that need to be improved so that when a storm hits, there will be no question that operations will continue. 

To learn more about Server Technology, click here.

Topics: disaster recovery

Don't Let Cooling Costs Burn Your Dollars

Posted by RJ Tee on May 17, 2017 1:05:36 PM

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Server Technology product manager Robert Faulkner knows a thing or two about data center power. With nine years at the company under his belt, Faulkner is keenly aware of the problems presented when you’re trying to walk that fine line between properly cooling your data center floor and keeping your costs low.

The problem, as he explains it, is like this:

“As temperatures rise, the life of your equipment drops. Most of your money is in servers, network gear and storage, so you want to make sure these elements have proper cooling,” Faulkner says.  (You can learn about top tools used for environmental montoring here)

Faulkner explains that with power strips residing in the back of the rack, the heat produced by servers is not always accounted for. One solution, he says, is proper cable routing.

“If you have a lot of cordage in the back, that’s a horrible situation,” he says. “The fan can’t cool the server. It’s just spinning, it’s really hot and it’s damaging your equipment.”

As a result, many data center managers assume their cooling is working efficiently, when it’s really burning up dollars by the minute.

The answer, Faulkner says, is to adopt smart rack PDU technology, such as the Alt-Phase HDOT PDU from Server Technology.

The benefits are many:

  • HDOT PDUs allow for shorter, more simplified cable runs
  • Increased airflow through the equipment
  • Intelligent rack PDUs report on current draws
  • Complete compatibility with Sentry Power Manager

Server Technology’s High Density Outlet Technology PDUs simultaneously monitor both power consumption and temperature within cabinets. Built-in alerts and reporting functions transmit data to HVAC systems, DCIM tools and key personnel. And in keeping with current trends, HDOT PDUs are built to operate at full power load in a 65 ̊C (149 ̊ F) environment, allowing you to run your data center at a warmer ambient temperature.

When combined with SPM, Server Technology’s smart rack PDUs become exponentially more powerful. SPM allows you to see in real-time what’s going on with your data center equipment. With optional temperature and humidity probes, you can maintain the proper cooling and heating mix on your floor 24/7. Customizable reports let you regularly see temperature data, allowing you even predict when equipment may be about to fail.

Learn more about  Server Technology’s alt-phase HDOT PDUs and sign up for a free 120-day Sentry Power Manager trial here.

Click Here To Build Your Own HDOT PDU  with Alt-Phase and POPS

Topics: HDOT, environmental monitoring

Scaling Back Your Data Center? Don’t Forget to Do This

Posted by RJ Tee on May 12, 2017 12:09:48 PM

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Data centers are quickly disappearing, explains a new report from IDC.

According to the report, data centers across the world are dropping in numbers and in square footage annually. In 2015, there were 8.55 million data centers in the world. By the end of 2017, this figure will drop to at least 8.4 million. And by 2021, there will only be about 7.2 million data centers — a total reduction of 15 percent from 2015. 

Why is this happening?

Organizations — especially the federal government — are now consolidating their facilities in an effort to reduce operating costs and become greener. Plus, businesses are now renting an increasing amount of server power from third party providers. And the vast majority are turning to hosted or hybrid cloud services.

Government data center?  Moving to a colo? Check out our solutions pages for useful resources.

So if your business is dismantling or consolidating its data centers, then rest assured you are not alone. This is becoming a very popular trend, and it shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. In fact, we will only see the trend accelerate in the coming years and so your business is definitely ahead of the curve.

But is success guaranteed? Now that is another story.

Whether you are switching to a hosted cloud provider like AWS, consolidating multiple servers into a single facility or just looking to reduce your data load entirely, you still need to keep a close watch on power management. Otherwise, your cost-saving experiment could wind up doing more harm than good.

Server Technology has a wide range of high-quality power management tools like intelligent PDUs and the Sentry Power Manager (SPM) platform to help guide your data center consolidation strategy.

Click to Learn More

Topics: consolidation, data center consolidation

Take Baby Steps to a Greener Data Center

Posted by RJ Tee on May 8, 2017 10:14:56 AM

Over the last several weeks, green energy has emerged as a major topic of discussion among businesses.

Facebook, for instance, recently announced a new $1 billion data center in Fort Worth, Texas that runs entirely on renewable energy.

“This is one of the most advanced and energy-efficient data centers on the planet, and it features our Open Compute Project hardware designs that result in world-class levels of energy efficiency,” stated Site Manager KC Timmons. “Also, it’s cooled using outdoor air and direct evaporative cooling systems that emphasize both water and energy efficiency.”

Facebook isn’t the only company going green, either. In fact, almost half of the largest U.S. companies now have clean energy targets. And 44 percent of the smallest 100 Fortune 500 companies have clean energy goals. This is an increase of 25 percent from 2014.

According to Data Center Knowledge, about 190 Fortune 500 companies have collectively saved about $3.7 billion in annual savings by doing this.

“We’re not talking about anecdotal information anymore,” stated Marty Spitzer, a WWF senior director of climate and renewable energy in Washington. “We’re talking about large, large savings.”

So, what is your company doing to improve its data center energy efficiencies?

Look: Not every business has the resources to build a data center that runs entirely on renewable power (although that would be nice). But there are practical steps that every company — right down to the SMB level — can take.

Server Technology, for instance, offers intelligent power distribution units (PDU) that can track energy usage at the cabinet level. By collecting real-time power usage data, your business can gain a much better understanding of how its servers are consuming power.

It’s a cost-effective, and practical, way to go green in the data center.

To learn more information, click here.

Topics: green data center