<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-WHST8N" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">

Stay Powered Blog

Josh Schaap

Recent Posts

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

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

beyond-the-servers

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 try our PDU selection wizard


Topics: data center power

Three Things You Don’t Know About Your Own Data Center (But Should)

Posted by Josh Schaap on Jan 12, 2017 1:19:38 PM

beyond-the-servers.jpg

Originially posted Jan 12, 2017, Updated Aug 09, 2017

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 find and get rid of zombie servers in this blog.

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. A data center power monitoring solution, like the All-In-1 Solution, will provide this information, and will distribute it directly to your mobile phone—so you can 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 data center monitoring products to see how you can protect me.

 

Topics: data center power, SPM, Sentry Power Manager

Five Great Things You Can do with SPM

Posted by Josh Schaap on Jan 9, 2017 12:05:41 PM

5spm-01-01.jpg

Data center power management has never been easier thanks to Server Technology’s Sentry Power Manager (SPM) platform.  SPM is a fully-automated, Web-based solution that gives operators real-time visibility into the network and the ability to switch from any location. Using SPM, operators can more effectively manage their infrastructure — be it onsite or distributed — and fast-track power and cost reductions.  

SPM works in conjunction with most of Server Technology’s intelligent data center power distribution units (PDUs) including Smart and Switched, as well as Smart POPS and Switched POPs devices. These PDUs offer various levels of control and insight into each cabinet’s electricity consumption. And it all comes together in the SPM platform, the system’s central operational hub which can be accessed from any Web interface.

Here are five great ways that you can use SPM to improve operations in your facility: 

  1. Create reports: One of SPM’s most powerful tools is its reporting feature. This solution makes it possible to schedule and run custom power scans across specific areas of the network, at any time. This is useful for tasks like finding the time of the week when your data center consumes the most power. You can drill down into any part of the network that is connected to a smart PDU and gain access to critical performance metrics. Once a scan is complete, a full report can be easily generated and exported to team members so that everyone has a thorough understanding of how the data center is consuming power. It’s a much more efficient way to generate data than by manually combing the network for information and compiling it into spreadsheets. Spreadsheets are error-prone and can can be tampered with, while SPM, in contrast, is highly secure. The platform comes with strong authentication settings to ensure that only approved individuals can access the data. Multiple users can access SPM at the same time, making it easier for employees to work together when performing maintenance.
  1. Control your environment: SPM will keep a close watch on your facility’s temperature and humidity levels, to ensure operating conditions are optimal for your setup. SPM will alert you if action needs to be taken. Also, using this technology you can safely experiment with different environmental settings to reduce total energy costs. The platform can set minimum or maximum temperature thresholds, and it can provide critical data that you can use to see if your cost reduction strategies are paying off over time.
  1. Save time during firmware upgrades: Intelligent PDUs have one small drawback: They need to be upgraded with new firmware from time to time. This process can eat up precious hours during the week. With SPM, you can schedule firmware upgrades to automatically take place during the off hours on nights and weekends, so that updates will be complete by the time the devices are needed during the week. It’s also one less task you will have to worry about!
  1. Conserve resources: In a typical data center, about 40 - 60 percent of all power goes to the cabinets. So it’s important to ensure that the energy is being used effectively, and not being wasted on things like idle servers. SPM makes it possible to ensure that power is flowing properly across the network—meaning in a balanced and organized way.
  1. Ensure rack redundancy: In the past, operators were forced to perform network stress tests to see how they would perform during unplanned outages. Servers would have to be manually shut down and rebooted. This was a time-consuming, and somewhat risky process. SPM improves this process by automatically scanning the network to ensure that all systems are functioning properly. No shutdowns are required.

Ultimately, SPM will provide peace of mind and a greater sense of security in your data center. By using SPM, you can ensure that your data center’s most important foundational resource, electricity, is being used in the best possible manner. You and your colleagues will no longer have to waste time on menial power management research. This product will free you to take on higher-level projects.  

SPM, it should be noted, is especially useful for federal agencies which now must comply with cost and power reduction mandates. Federally-owned data centers must now track the resources they use and prove they are taking measures to slash costs and become more environmentally-friendly. Server Technology’s solutions are TAA compliant, and are being actively used in many federal agencies today.

Don’t wait to improve energy efficiency in your data center.

Topics: SPM, Sentry Power Manager

The One, The Only: HDOT With POPS

Posted by Josh Schaap on Dec 22, 2016 9:17:40 AM

HDOT-FOR-VID.jpg

What do you get when you take the flexibility of Server Technology’s High Density Outlet Technology and combine it with Per Outlet Power Sensing? A pretty amazing product, says Vimal Bhakta, Senior Engineering Manager for Server Technology.

“It’s great,” he says with a smile.

If you haven’t already, take a second to watch Vimal share the good news about HDOT POPS PDUs in our new video:

In the video, Vimal runs down the key benefits of adding POPS technology to our award-winning HDOT alt-phase rack PDUs. He discusses how data centers can use this winning combo to find solutions for density, capacity planning and remote management.

HDOT’s alternating phase power is designed for three rack power configurations, and with each configuration, there are four product types to choose from, depending on the level of control you need:

Thanks to its modular design, each HDOT product type gives customers the flexibility to configure the location and quantity of C13 and C19 outlets on the PDU. As a result, there are literally thousands on thousands of configurations possible. To get a sense of how customizable our PDUs really are, check out our Build Your Own PDU tool which walks you through four easy steps to building the perfect power solution for your data center. It’s so remarkably easy that you can even build a PDU right from your tablet or phone.

So, why HDOT? The short answer is that it provides 20 percent more outlet real estate than conventional outlet-based PDUs. We’re able to achieve this by removing unneeded material around the outlet and group them as close together as physically possible.

HDOT PDUs also feature high native power cord retention and alternating phase power for cable management and load balancing. Ultimately, this helps customers operate at the highest efficiency possible.

Available in Smart and Switched POPS, these PDUs provide +/- 1 percent energy consumption accuracy at each outlet for typical data center equipment loads. As a bonus, it’ll also help you identify abnormal rack equipment power behavior such as zombie servers on the data center floor.  

In the end, HDOT is the most reliable and adaptable customer power solution for data center rack equipment, Vimal says.

“HDOT is a true game-changer out in the PDU market,” he says. “Customers love it … I love it … Only with Server Technology will you Stay Powered, Be Supported and Get Ahead.”

Topics: data center power, intelligent PDUs, rack PDU

Why You Need Intelligent PDUs for Remote Cloud and Colocation Services

Posted by Josh Schaap on Dec 14, 2016 11:35:05 AM

iStock-617381782.jpg

Originally Posted December 14, 2016 - Updated June 16, 2017

Awhile back, your business made a strategic decision to expand its data center beyond its physical borders. Now, a large amount of your servers live in hosted, third party cloud and colocation facilities around the U.S. and possibly the world.  

Why did you outsource a large portion of your infrastructure? You did so to save money, increase efficiencies and establish a local presence around your key markets to reduce latency and costs when transmitting data. It made much more sense at the time to partner with companies offering premium infrastructure in managed facilities, than to expand your legacy network (and take on additional CAPEX and OPEX).  

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

There’s just one thing you failed to take into full account:  

Server management and optimization is your responsibility. Not your provider’s.  

Most colocation facilities, in other words, provide access to four walls, a roof and a room full of bare metal infrastructure. They give you the basic tools you need to thrive in the cloud. But you still need to monitor and manage this infrastructure to be successful unless you are working with a managed services provider.  You can discover more about our solutions for colos here.

Many businesses rush into the cloud, and then face heavy unexpected costs — particularly from their heavy power usage. Expenses can easily accrue when managing large numbers of servers in disparate locations. It’s also possible to run into performance issues.  

So, what you can you do to trim expenses and boost server performance?  

You can invest in intelligent power distribution units (PDU). 

Server Technology offers smart and switched PDUs that come with High Density Outlet Technology (up to 42 C13 outlets), which is the highest number of outlets per form factor on the market.  

Here are some reasons to use Server Technology’s intelligent PDUs to monitor and manage your infrastructure:  

  • Keep costs low: Server Technology’s intelligent PDUs can provide you with real-time and historical power usage metrics for each rack. With this information at your disposal, you can get a full sense of how your servers are using electricity, and how you can safely migrate workloads to reduce costs. You may find, for instance, that you have a group of zombie servers in one facility that can be shut down until they are needed.  
  • Maintain uptime: When using intelligent PDUs, you can receive important alerts, and monitor trends that could lead to unplanned instances of downtime. Using a switched PDU, you can actually shut down power ahead of time if you need to.  Learn more about our uptime solutions.
  • Reduce travel: You shouldn’t have to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to make critical adjustments to your servers. Using Server Technology’s PDUs, you can make changes remotely — thereby saving time and money on maintenance.  

Want to learn more about how Server Technology’s intelligent PDUs can help your business? Click here.   

Topics: colocation, remote cloud

Low on Real Estate, High on Rack Components?

Posted by Josh Schaap on Dec 5, 2016 8:40:22 AM

 density-solution-01-01.jpg

Forget about that row of coveted window offices…the hottest real estate in your building right now can be found in the back of your data center’s racks!

Why is the back of the rack so valuable? This seemingly insignificant space can make or break your data center densification strategy.

Here’s how:

Space is very limited in the back of the rack, which makes it difficult to tinker with rack densities. After all, you can only fit so many servers into standard 42U cabinets. And space becomes even more constricted when factoring in room for cooling, power cords and bulky power distribution units (PDU).

In order to safely maximize space in the rack, you need PDUs that are not only ultra- skinny, but which are also reliable and capable of powering all of the various components in your racks.

You need High Density Outlet Technology (HDOT) PDUs from Server Technology, which can support more rack components than any other PDU per form factor.

To combat the limited physical space that PDUs compete for in the data center rack, Server Technology developed High Density Outlet Technology (HDOT), the smallest form factor PDU which significantly increases real estate in the back of the rack by fitting as many as 42 C13’s in a 42U high network managed PDU device—that’s over 20 percent smaller than a comparable PDU using standard outlets. In conjunction with the launch of HDOT, Server Technology developed a quick turn manufacturing process that provides short lead times for PDU’s with the exact combination of C19 and C13 outlets in the locations where the customer needs them. The HDOT design also provides high native cord retention of over 12 pounds pull strength, reducing or eliminating the need for custom and costly ancillary locking cord devices. With increasing outlet density comes increased power, and potentially increased heat. HDOT is manufactured with robust high-temperature materials carrying a UL94 V-0 flame rating, making these outlets ideally suited for the harshest data center environments

Here’s the great part:

HDOT PDUs can save you more than just rack space. They will also save your company money, and spare you headaches with Per Outlet Power Sensing (POPS). Our latest addition to the HDOT product line is Per Outlet Power Sensing (POPS), which provides +/-1% billable-grade accuracy for energy consumption at each outlet for typical data center equipment loads. POPS also includes current, voltage, active power, apparent power, power factor, and crest factor at each outlet. This provides the ultimate in efficiency and capacity analysis. POPS enables alarms and warning signals on current, power, and power factor for both low and high values.

 Need remote power management at the rack level? You can do that with HDOT’s Switched Outlets. With the ability to turn ON and OFF or reboot outlets individually or as a group, certain features become possible such as outlet access and lock-out, power-up outlet sequencing that reduces the likelihood of power-up inrush, and our optional smart load shedding.

Furthermore, you can put the calculator away when trying to balance a 3-phase PDU. With HDOT’s Alt-Phase Technology you can distribute phases on a per receptacle basis (rather than in discrete separate banks), providing tangible benefits in the form of shorter cable runs, resulting in better airflow, easier load balancing, and greater efficiencies. Prior to the advent of HDOT, Alternating Phase products were impractical to build due to the low outlet density inherent with discreet commercially available outlets.

Safety and reliability are another top concern when adjusting rack densities, so it’s important to watch for temperature fluctuations. Denser racks are much hotter, and can lead to fires and outages if left unmonitored. HDOT PDUs come with a UL94 V-O flame rating, making them suited for harsh data center environments. They can also sync with Server Technology’s Sentry Power Manager, which can provide real-time temperature and humidity metrics.

What’s more, HDOT PDUs are built on the PRO2 hardware and firmware platform, which helps ensure stability, performance and uptime. And their alternating phase outlets can make load balancing a breeze.

Want to learn more about how HDOT PDUs can benefit your data center? Click here!

Topics: HDOT, density, HDOT Switched

Monitoring At The Cabinet, Zone And Location Levels

Posted by Josh Schaap on Nov 23, 2016 10:54:41 AM

aug-switched-banner-01.jpg

Pardon the cliché, but knowledge really is power, especially when you’re dealing with actual power in a data center. Take, for instance, the knowledge of how much power your cabinets need and how much power is available, or knowing the IT load. With that information in hand, you can solve a number of data center problems.

Thanks to Server Technology’s award-winning Sentry Power Manager, you can see the amount of power used in a cabinet and roll this information up into groups – or zones – of cabinets.  Alternately, you can roll up power information into locations in order to gain several key metrics that will help you make better decisions, including:

  1. Monitoring at the cabinet level: Seeing your power usage allows you to identify potential hot spots in your data center. Also, knowing the amount of cabinet power usage lets you run reports to identify cabinets with the power and space availability for the installation of new devices. Other advantages: you can pinpoint the cabinets that have either exceeded capacity or will exceed capacity at some future time period, based on the current growth rate. SPM’s Predictive Trending tools designed for power and temperature give you reliable estimates - based on past growth – about when you’ll exceed power or cooling thresholds.
  1. Zone level monitoring: When you have a solid idea of your zone level power usage (by rolling up cabinet-level power monitoring) you can effectively compare power monitoring information from the UPS or RPP against actual device usage. Also, this information can be used to see how many additional cabinets can be installed within a zone. This is important because power trends and reports provide the worst-case power load levels for the purposes of planning.
  1. Location level monitoring: When you’re planning for the allocation of new cabinets, knowing the power usage per location helps. With this knowledge, you can gain a better understanding of how many new cabinets could be supported, based on either the current infrastructure or by adding a new infrastructure.

Ready to learn more about Sentry Power Manager? See the top six reasons why it’s a data center staple or download a free evaluation copy today.

Topics: data center monitoring, data center power

How Much Trouble Could One Technician Cause In Your Data Center?

Posted by Josh Schaap on Oct 31, 2016 10:14:17 AM

iStock_18208381_SMALL.jpg

Just recently, eWeek ran a Halloween-themed article titled “The Data Center: Where the Stuff of Nightmares Lurks.” The article pointed out some of the darkest fears that IT professionals are facing. And one caught our attention: “The ‘Help’ Desk Tech from Hell.”

“One of my greatest fears (brought about by an actual experience) is another absolutely pitiful on-site help desk tech who completely disregards procedures and starts moving cables around on network devices trying to get one device working again, but takes down six more in the process,” the article stated.

It’s sad, but true: Help desk technicians —as well as interns and careless, or sleep-deprived IT workers — can create a great deal of trouble in the data center.

Unfortunately, we can’t do much to prevent other employees from wreaking physical havoc in your data center. We’ll leave that t you. But there is something we can prevent: Unauthorized users adjusting your switched PDU settings.

Our Sentry Power Management (SPM) system comes with strong security settings and access controls. These controls can help prevent certain individuals from logging into your switched PDUs and making critical decisions which could lead to disastrous consequences.

It may seem like a small thing, but trust us: You don’t want other people messing with your power flows. With the SPM platform from Server Technology, you can rest assured knowing that only you or trusted colleagues have the ability to adjust your switched PDU settings. So if you get sick, go on vacation, or need to trust your data center with someone who is less qualified or experienced, you will not have to worry about coming back to an unfixable mess.

For more information, click here.

 

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

Data Center Power Management: The Key To Success in Silicon Valley

Posted by Josh Schaap on Oct 24, 2016 10:57:06 AM

rpm2-01.jpgSilicon Valley remains one of the largest and most competitive data center markets in America. Right now there is a data center vacancy rate of just 8.2 percent in the region. And according to a new report, the market is expected to continue to experience further growth in the near future.

As is to be expected, rents are sky-high in Silicon Valley. So if you’re planning to open a data center in the area, you’ll have to poke around to find a deal that aligns with your budgetary needs. We recommend you look in Santa Clara, which is an up and coming area of Silicon Valley that is quickly becoming a hotbed for data centers.

Santa Clara, it should be noted, is known for its ultra-low commercial electricity rates. These rates will vary depending on your monthly power usage.

It’s important to realize, though, that it doesn’t matter what electricity rates you are paying if you lack the ability to closely monitor your daily power usage. If you’re not careful, you could easily spend more money on electricity in a month in Santa Clara than in the heart of San Francisco. 

Data centers, after all, use a phenomenal amount of power on a daily basis. And if left unchecked, power consumption can quickly spiral out of control. Just think about all of the zombie servers that are running in your data center right now, sucking up power.

The only way to stay under (or even close) to budget is to invest in a reliable data center power management solution.

Fortunately, it’s easier than ever before to control your data center power usage. In the past, data center managers only had traditional power outlets. But recent strides in data center power outlet technology have greatly improved this problem.

Server Technology is one data center power management provider that has been gaining a great deal of attention recently. Server Technology’s smart and switched Per Outlet Power Sensing (POPS)-enabled power distribution units provide per-outlet power measurements for data center racks. These products allow managers to track metrics like current, voltage, power (kW), apparent power, crest factor and power factor.

powermgmt-01.jpg

They also offer the most outlets per form factor in the industry, allowing for greater cabinet densities.

Plus, Server Technology makes the data center power management process easy with its award-winning Sentry Power Manager (SPM) solution. This product centralizes power management, allowing for complete control and visibility over all intelligent data center PDUs.

Using Server Technology’s solutions, you will have a much easier time succeeding in the Silicon Valley data center market. While your competitors struggle with sky-high power bills, you will be tracking your usage and continuously optimizing your facility guided by actionable metrics.

To get started, click here.

Topics: SPM, Sentry Power Manager, PDUs, Server Technology, data center power management

Customer-Focused Production At Server Technology

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

customer-focused-01.jpg

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

Get In Touch

Latest Posts

Follow Me