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HDOT Family Welcomes Per Outlet Power Sensing PDUs

Posted by RJ Tee on Jan 17, 2018 7:25:00 AM

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Originally posted Mar 28, 2017, updated Jan 16, 2018

Just in case you didn't know, our award winning HDOT PDUs contain embedded Per Outlet Power Sensing (POPS) with device-level power monitoring, making this the most innovative product line yet.

Every data center should seriously consider using HDOT PDUs — with +/- 1 percent billable-grade accuracy — to drive efficiencies, maximize uptime and slash operating costs.

So, what makes POPS so remarkable?

Data center operators can use this feature to measure voltage, current, apparent power, active power, crest favor and power factor at the outlet level. Plus, warnings and alarms can be set up to monitor current, power, and power factor for both low and high values. This can help to reduce power faults, resulting in a safer and more effective data center.

Of course, customers who are familiar with the rest of the HDOT product line will find all of the same great features in this product. HDOT PDUs still come with full switching capabilities (for remote power toggling), alternating power distribution (for distributing power on a per-receptacle basis) and PRO2 architecture (our proprietary hardware and firmware platform offering modern security protocols, Zero Touch Provisioning, and advanced protection for ensuring system reliability and uptime.

Learn how to get the most out of your HDOT Alt-Phase PRO2 Switched POPS PDU

PDU in this white paper.

One of the great parts about this product line, it should be noted, is that it’s fully-customizable. Server Technology offers a special Build-Your-Own PDU feature, with an updated — and simplified — four step configuration process. 

Implementing POPS into the HDOT PDU product line was a true engineering feat, and it’s something that everyone should experience.

Build Your Own HDOT PDU

Topics: HDOT, Per Outlet Power Sensing, POPs, HDOT Switched POPS, BYOPDU

Three Things You Don’t Know About Your Own Data Center

Posted by Josh Schaap on Jan 16, 2018 2:05:00 PM

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Originally posted May 8, 2015, Updated Jan 16, 2018

This is your data center speaking. You think you know me pretty well, right? After all, you spend almost all of your time around me. Take a harder look, however, and you’ll see that there are some important things about me that you aren’t aware of! 

Ask yourself the following questions:

How many devices do I have?

Take a guess; I’ll bet you’re off by at least 15 or 20 pieces of hardware that have gotten buried while you’ve been expanding. You keep adding new components like servers, racks and switches; but you don’t monitor any of these devices in real-time. As a result, you’ve lost track and many of the devices are now sucking up power without your knowledge and steering you ever-closer to network capacity.

Learn how to get rid of zombie servers today.


What is my ideal temperature?

I’ve been running at a cool 65 degrees ever since I was built. Did you know, however, that I am capable of safely operating at a temperature of about 15 degrees warmer? No, you didn’t, because you never experiment with different settings! If you did, you might find that you could significantly reduce your monthly expenses by raising the temperature on your cooling system

How much power do I use on a daily basis?

You know how much you pay for electricity. But you don’t know how much power each one of your devices actually uses. Server Technology's smart and switched rack mount PDUs, will provide this information: see every device on your network, and how much power each one is using in real-time. So, it’s time to get to know me better. After all, I’m one of the most critical parts of your entire organization. So I suggest you check out Server Technology’s advanced line of intelligent PDU's to see how you can protect me.

Click to


Topics: data center power

Server Technology and the Internet of Things: Power at the Edge

Posted by RJ Tee on Jan 16, 2018 11:12:43 AM

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By now, you are familiar with the Internet of Things, or IoT. In fact, according recent statistics, you’re also likely involved in a deployment that has brought some of the challenges associated with the bulk data collection and storage issues presented by this technology.

We are still early in the process of defining what IoT means, both collectively as an industry and individually as companies. We are also beginning to understand how it will allow us to harness the real-time data available through sensors and various collection devices. The explosion of data from IoT has resulted in a change in the way our data centers are structured, and how they support the network that collects and transmits information in now unprecedented volumes.

The biggest change from a power perspective, and one we have supported here at Server Technology, is the edge computing networks needed to make possible localized, high-volume data collection. The concept of the Internet of Things has created a very real need for a different way of computing in multiple locations instead of one. Whether the edge compute nodes are carrier-based or private, the complications are similar. The functionality of the core data center must be replicated closer to the point of data collection, albeit in a more compact and cost-effective fashion. It is this particular challenge that has led IoT organizations to turn to us to provide power to ‘the Edge’. Here is what we know.

Want to learn more? Watch our on-demand edge computing webinar here.

First, density is an issue when you look at edge computing. The server, storage, and network requirements are high and the amount of space to house them is low. Most deployments are less than 100 square feet, or confined to a 10’ x 10’ space. There are many deployments that would view this 100 square foot average as a luxury. In either case, we’ve seen equipment densities increase as a result.

Second, the increased computing density leads to higher kW/rack demands, which are quickly followed by higher plug count and amperage requirements. Rack mount power strips that incorporate Server Technology’s High Density Outlet Technology (HDOT) combat the limited physical space that edge deployments can allow by providing up to 42 separate C13 outlets in a single, 42U high rack PDU. Higher electrical loads are no issue with Server Technology’s configurable Switched and Smart power distribution options that support 400-415V inputs.

Third, edge computing demands more sophisticated monitoring solutions at the rack and PDU level. By definition, edge compute sites are not adjacent to the core data center facility. Lack of proximity means that there is an increased reliance on the ability to monitor power and cooling conditions remotely, as well as the ability to control and reboot single outlets (for an example, the per-outlet-power-sensing (POPS) line of Server Technology rack PDUs).

Try a demo of a 3-phase 230/400V POPS rack PDU today.

Server Technology, now a part of the Legrand family, is your power strategy expert, whether you are computing at the core or at the edge.

 

Topics: HDOT, Internet of Things, IoT, density, HDOT Switched, HDOT Switched POPS, Edge Computing

The Big Decision: Selecting Smart vs. Switched Data Center PDUs

Posted by Erik Stabile on Jan 11, 2018 10:40:00 AM

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Updated Jan 11, 2018, originally posted Jun 29, 2016 

Recently, many customers have inquired about whether they should implement smart or switched power distribution units (PDUs) into their data centers. After all, when looking at the two products side by side, they appear to be almost identical, as both products offer the following features:

  • Branch circuit protection
  • Input current monitoring
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Access, security and communications
  • An expansion module
  • Interoperability with Server Technology’s Sentry Power Manager (SPM)

There is one major difference, though, between smart and switched PDU: A switched PDU provides the ability to toggle power on and off on a per-outlet basis. As such, a switched PDU typically offers more control and flexibility on an outlet where it’s being used.

Conversely, a smart PDU will provide the same level of critical power and environmental data, but will not allow you to make changes to the outlet from a central location. Smart PDUs are more for monitoring and reporting purposes.

Here are some reasons a business would consider investing in a switched PDU:

Rebooting and power-up sequencing: When a core network device fails, it doesn’t always need to be taken in for service, or manually inspected. Sometimes, all it takes is a reboot to correct the underlying error. Reboots aren’t always easy, though, particularly for multisite data centers or colocation facilities. They can be time consuming and expensive, if they require sending technicians out to the actual data center to complete the task. Using a switched PDU, reboots can be performed remotely from a Web interface—thus potentially eliminating the need to deploy service technicians.

Switched PDUs also come in handy following power outages. In this case, operators need to be careful to avoid power surges when powering up equipment, as this can lead to additional network downtime. A switched PDU can enable staged power-up sequencing, allowing the network to ease back up to scale. 

“Locking out” unused outlets: Resources like space, power and cooling come at a premium price in medium-to-large data centers—especially in growing facilities. For this reason, it can be very challenging trying to deploy new IT equipment safely. Before a device can be installed into a cabinet, it’s vital to track the cabinet’s power usage and environmental conditions over time. Otherwise, installing the device could prove to be dangerous.

Suffice to say, in a medium-to-large environment it can be very difficult trying to keep a running historical account of each cabinet’s usage history and available capacity. With the help of a switched PDU, though, managers can easily identify outlets which are not safe for use based on aggregated historical data. Then, the outlet can be toggled off so that no equipment can be added to it. 

Scheduling power loads: Many data centers waste power by continuing to run equipment during off-hours when the network is not being fully used, usually because it is more cost-effective to keep the equipment running and saves time over having to manually reboot. A switched PDU allows operators to strategically schedule each outlet to avoid wasting power. As we explained in a recent white paper, one government agency was actually able to reduce power usage in their POC data center by an average of 50 percent for any given week using a switched PDU. It should also be noted that switched PDUs are ideal for identifying and eliminating “zombie” servers, or comatose servers that use large volumes of data over time by running idly.

The aforementioned points are just some of the benefits to using a switched PDU, and the white paper contains many more.

Keep in mind, though, that determining the right type of PDU can be very complex.  (We can help you decide which PDU is best for your application within our rack pdu buying guide) And in some cases, a switched PDU may not be the best choice to fit your needs. For example, if you are managing a single facility, there may be little need to use remote management technologies; your staff members may prefer to perform outlet changes manually. The scope of your operation, your risk factor for downtime, your budgetary allowance and your staff members’ preferences should all be considered when deciding what type of PDU to use.  

Server Technology can outfit your business with smart or switched PDUs—and both can be equipped with Per Outlet Power Sensing (POPS) technology capable of reporting voltage, kW power, current, crest factor and power factor. Server Technology also offers metered and basic PDUs. With all of the options to choose from, it's easy to become overwhelmed when deciding which PDU is right for your data center. With this in mind, we've created a handy rack PDU selection wizard and flow chart that addresses all levels of power needs, as well as describes each of the PDU features.

Click to

Topics: switched PDUs, data center power, smart pdus

2017: What a Year for Server Technology

Posted by RJ Tee on Dec 29, 2017 4:21:17 PM

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As we wind down another year and look ahead to 2018, Server Technology would like to take a moment to review the many reasons we have to be thankful for the year that was 2017. And what a year it was!

2017 was filled with happenings that came together to make this, possibly, our best year ever. It was a year of innovation, hard work, and change for both the staff of Server Technology and our customers as well.

While this is a ‘best of’ type of list, it would be somewhere on the scale of difficult to impossible to prioritize any of the following things for which we need to give thanks. Think of this as a list of the equals, where each entry stands on its own merit.

The thrill of joining the Legrand family. We are honored as well as thankful to be recognized by industry leader Legrand, and to join its family of products. Legrand looks for strong, revenue-generating companies offering unique, innovative solutions in the data center market. We are happy to say that we checked both boxes.

The pride of continuing an award-winning tradition. We are also thankful to be recognized by our peers and industry leaders through several awards. In May, we received the Gold statue at the Ozzie Awards, a showcase for excellence in accountability, leadership, and culture within the organization. We also received the Quantum Workplace Award, another achievement that highlights Server Technology’s commitment to employee engagement.

The work of our employees. While we are appreciative and proud of so many awards, they could not be earned without the efforts of our dedicated employees. For example, Server Technology boasts one of the largest research and development staff in the industry. Their hard work is supported by a tremendous distribution channel, a dedicated sales and marketing staff, and highly capable leadership. We are grateful that all of our teams work in unison to provide the best products and support possible.

The dedication of our customers. Last and certainly not least, we are thankful for our loyal customers. From large hyperscale data centers to small network closets, and all points in between, our products are installed by a wide range of customers who show us an amazing level of dedication and support.

In the spirit of “Auld Lang Syne,” we would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to everyone who has contributed to making 2017 a year to be thankful for. Here’s to good friends, good deeds, good health, and good will for the New Year!

 Learn Why Our Customers Choose Servertech Again and Again

BYOPDU 102

Posted by RJ Tee on Dec 27, 2017 2:48:35 PM

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In our last blog post titled BYOPDU 101, we spent some time discussing the differences between five different types of rack mount PDUs manufactured by Server Technology. In this lesson, class, we are going to help you take that knowledge and build your own HDOT PDU.

Believe it or not, it is a simple four-step process to custom build a PDU tailored specifically to your needs, your load, and your management style.

Step one. With your chosen combination of features in mind (Metered, Smart, Switched, POPS), you will need to decide if you need an alternating phase power strip, or a standard unit. (Need help deciding which family of rack PDUs to build?  Our buying guide is a good place to start.)  If you were heading down the alternating phase route, you will also need to determine the number of outlets you need. The choice here is either between 24 and 42 outlets, or 48 and 54 outlets. Once you do decide which category you fall into, simply click the orange button to select the type of unit you would like.

BYOPDU configurator step one, selecting PDU typeStep One - 48-54 outlet Switched POPS PDU is selected in screenshot

 

Step two. Believe it or not, the hard part is over. The next step is to determine the power options that will define the way your rack mounted PDU will be constructed. The online tool provides options for voltage, amperage, and phase type. Simply locate the orange button that it meets your specifications, and you will quickly find yourself at the next step.

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Step Two - 240/415 Volts; 20-30 Amps; 3-Phase L-N is selected in screenshot

 

Step three. This is the part where things get pretty fun. The next step is to choose plug and outlet types for your power strip. Once you get to this stage, there is a graphic interface that shows the HDOT PDU you are building. You will use your mouse to identify the plug count, type, and configuration for the business side of the PDU. You will also use your mouse to select where the cord will enter the rack, and the type of plug required for your application. Once these selections have been made, you will see your power strip on the screen exactly as it has been configured.

Step-03.jpgStep Three - Choose outlet and plug modules

 

Step four. At this point the PDU is essentially built, albeit with a few details left. The fourth step in the tool allows you to provide information such as color, quantity, and configuration options particular to the type of unit you selected. We also provide you a link to download a spec sheet for the particular unit that you built and, of course, the ability to get pricing based on your specifications and the quantities needed.

Step-04.jpgStep Four - Select color, quantity, and view config details.

 

If for some reason you get stuck along the way, the designers at Server Technology have placed a clever “Help me choose” button at each step of the build process. Push this button to get clarification or information on the options that are presented to you.

That’s it. Class is dismissed. Before you head out the door, be sure to note the homework assignment and head to Build Your Own HDOT PDU to practice putting your knowledge to work for you and your data center.

Build Your Own HDOT PDU

Topics: HDOT, BYOPDU

BYOPDU 101

Posted by RJ Tee on Dec 20, 2017 12:01:30 PM

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Did you know that Server Technology allows, and even encourages, its customers to build their own PDUs? Now, to be clear, we are the ones who actually build the PDUs, but we do feel strongly that you should have control over that process. We let you do this through a web tool we call “Build Your Own HDOT PDU.”

The first step in building your own PDU is to figure out what you want, right?

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Well, not so fast. Since there are five product types to choose from, the first step is to decide which one best suits your needs. We’d like to take a minute to go over the options.

Metered. The most basic form of rack mount power strip, that you can configure, is what we call Metered. The Metered unit will provide information on input current via a display on the PDU. This is helpful for preventing overloads and simplifying the process of balancing three-phase loads. This is the best choice for those who want to keep it simple and are not interested in getting rack level data and control via their PDU.

Smart. If you would like to have this information delivered to you in order to make the job of managing the power strip a little easier and less manual, the next step is to look at the Smart series. Our Smart rack-mount PDUs include the features of Metered power strips, and they provide these input power measurements to you via your network or a serial connection. They can be also configured to send email alerts about different power and environmental conditions. As the name Smart implies, this is the first step toward rack-based power intelligence.

Smart POPS. If you’re the type that takes it to the next level, then Smart POPS is for you. The acronym POPS stands for “per outlet power sensing,” and Smart POPS PDUs provide accurate power monitoring at the outlet level along with all of the features that you would find in a Smart PDU. In the world of monitoring what’s going on inside your rack, this is the entry-level way to obtain outlet by outlet electrical monitoring.

Switched. Depending on your operation, it might make sense for you to have the ability to turn on, turn off, or reboot outlets either individually or as a group. If you have these types of control needs, then the Switched unit is the one for you. Switched provides the same features as a Smart POPS along with the ability to control the unit, lockout certain outlets, and control power sequencing to reduce inrush and increase your ability to shed load in a logical fashion.

Switched POPS. If you were thinking, “well, I’d love to have everything that you’ve mentioned,” then there is one last option for you to consider. All of the smart, switched, and POPS features are combined into a product we call Switched POPS. This unit combines all of the features into one feature-rich PDU. In fact, it is the most sophisticated power distribution unit on the market today.

Want to see a Switched POPS PDU in action?  View our online demo.

 

While this is a lot to think about, identifying how you engage, control, and manage your rack-level electrical loads is the best and first step in the process of building your own HDOT PDU. We will return next week with the rest of the lesson to help you get your units into production.

If you can’t wait, please visit our Build Your Own HDOT PDU tool on the Server Technology website. Roll up your sleeves, and let the PDU building begin.

 

Topics: HDOT, build your own PDU, BYOPDU

What’s the Best PDU Solution?

Posted by RJ Tee on Dec 15, 2017 6:02:00 AM

rack mount pdus - click to get to rack PDU buying guide and wizard

We get this question all the time. I mean literally, all the time.

But it is easy to understand why. Amanda Senger, one of Server Technology’s storied Sales Engineers, summed it up perfectly. “We’re really good at one thing: PDUs. We have over 2,000 different part numbers, where our competitors only have 100-200, so we have a lot more flexibility we can offer our customers.”

Thanks, Amanda. Nailed it. So, what is the best PDU solution? Answer: the PDU that you just specified and ordered.

There are a lot of best PDUs, then, and that is the point. The goal of our product line and the design of our manufacturing process is to allow our customers the ability to find exactly the right set of power distribution features for their application. Why else would Server Technology provide so many options, from horizontal to vertical, 120V to 415V, low density to high, and from managed to not? It is because every data center rack is its own unique deployment, which demands the ultimate in flexibility from those devices that power the load.

In other words, ain’t no two power distribution units alike.

Now, freedom of choice can be a good thing, but it can also be overwhelming by virtue of the number of options it presents to the consumer. We get that. Before we developed our ‘Pick Your PDU Wizard,’ we’re sure we were partially responsible for a near-constant state of confusion found among a certain generation of data center managers. You know who you are.

But to find your way, there are just a handful of basic questions that need to be answered:

  • Do you need outlet level monitoring?
  • Do you need individual outlet control?
  • How will the unit be mounted?
  • How many outlets are needed?
  • What will the nominal voltage and input current be?
  • Single or three-phase?
  • What is your plug type?
  • What kind of monitoring do you need?

See? That wasn’t so tough.

Our PDU configuration tool is one way that we make sure that you stay powered and get ahead. Server Technology, now a part of the Legrand family of companies, is proud to be your Power Strategy Expert.

Click to

Topics: BYOPDU, PDU Wizard

May the POPS Be with You

Posted by RJ Tee on Dec 13, 2017 12:28:27 PM

data center racks in space

Since much of the buzz this week will be about the much-anticipated release of Star Wars ‘The Last Jedi’ on Friday (or Thursday if you happen to live in the UK), we thought we would take a moment to share some of our favorite old lines.

And now, from a galaxy far, far away… (cue fanfare)

“The force is strong in this one.” Bad guy or not, Darth Vader hit the nail on the head here. While we had to wait until much later to find out why he knew what he knew, we do know now that sometimes you just have a feeling about things. The Server Tech team had that same good feeling when we started talking about ZTP, our zero-touch provisioning approach for our PDU line. (We even have a pretty nifty whitepaper...)  A way to provision all your rack mounted power strips at once, hands-free, and outside of the data center? We still have to remind people this is no Jedi mind trick.

PDU Jedi Mind Trick

 

“I find your lack of faith disturbing.” Suffice it to say, this understated line is one that you never want on the receiving end -- just ask the unfortunate Imperial officer Admiral Motti. You also don’t want to find yourself on the short end of a PDU specification for your data center. To keep you out of hot water and to loosen that nagging grip, we have developed the Build Your Own PDU tool. Faster than the Millennium Falcon’s twelve parsec Kessel run, you can specify and order a power distribution unit that will meet just about – uh – anyone’s exacting specifications.

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” This could will be the motto for our research and development department. They have developed an industry-leading number of patents for technology developed specifically for rack-mounted PDUs. All of these variations are the result of demand from the market and the willingness of our team to make that happen. We appreciate Yoda’s maxim and have tried to embody his wisdom. Our R&D team does.

“Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, farm boy.” Well, Han Solo, we could also argue that the jump to hyperscale computing is not for the faint of heart either. That being said, our high-density solutions such as HDOT have found a place in the mission-critical space, and we dare say they helped propel the move to more sophisticated computing. We are here to make sure those Star Destroyers don’t damage your hyperdrive so you, too, can make the jump like a pro. Or a washed-up smuggler.

“Judge me by my size, do you?” Yoda will go down in movie history as the ultimate ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ character, and we feel that our horizontal power distribution units could easily fall within the same category. Small but mighty, our horizontal units can also pack a punch. With more configuration options than a swamp full of womprats, they are a sometimes-forgotten (but never cloned) weapon in the arsenal of the power-distribution wars.

You see, the force is strong here at Server Technology. Like Jango Fett, we’re just a simple company trying to make its way in the universe. May the force be with you.

Click to

Topics: HDOT, density, ZTP, BYOPDU

Our Hot New ‘How to ZTP’ Video

Posted by RJ Tee on Dec 11, 2017 3:48:11 PM

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Do you know how to ZTP? If not, don’t worry. We have recently posted a YouTube video to show you how.

ZTP, or zero touch provisioning, is the methodology that allows you to make configuration changes to key data center services without interruption or the need to go on the data center floor itself. All configuration changes are completed online and over the ethernet cables that connect your Server Technology rack power distribution units to a core server. As an example, you may want to reconfigure settings when there are software updates, or you need to make changes to user permission profiles.

Configuration provisioning is a simple affair, as the term ‘zero touch’ implies. That said, it is not a hands-free methodology, and some human engagement is required. The ‘zero human’ update is still in research and development, and we have word that the release date for this technology is still at ‘an undetermined future date.’

 tell-me-more.jpg

Until then, let’s discuss how to ZTP. Before you start the provisioning process, it is important to make sure that you are using Sentry Power Manager, our power monitoring software solution. Next, you will want to make sure you are using a PRO1 or PRO2 version of our PDU.

Learn about our PRO2 firmware here.

The six-step process couldn’t be simpler. This is it in a nutshell:

  • Assign a DHCP and TFTP server
  • Download the STIC configuration file
  • Determine the configuration
  • Load the configured STIC file to the TFTP
  • Configure the DHCP server options
  • Power up your PDUs and connect them to the network

Now you know how to ZTP.

Really, the benefits of Zero Touch Provisioning are many. You can update more than one PDU at a time, and reduce all the errors that can happen in a manual configuration process. There is also avoiding the monotony of keying the same data over and over, which means you have more time to play chicken with the EPO switch.

We’re kidding on that last one, really. Just want to make sure you are paying attention.

Server Technology is indeed your Zero Touch Provisioning PDU expert. Take a peek at the how-to video, or head to our website to download the ZTP white paper and technical note.

 NEW WHITE PAPER  Learn how you can save time and effort configuring  your PRO series PDU with Zero Touch Provisioning

Topics: PRO2, video, Zero Touch Provisioning, ZTP

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