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Marc Cram

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Three Questions for Your Edge Application

Posted by Marc Cram on Apr 19, 2017 10:44:22 AM


Your centralized hyperscale data center is up and running in a stable fashion. Now the software team has come up with applications that are so bandwidth intensive that you are going to have to do some extensive pre-processing in every major locale to reduce network traffic and latency times. Sounds like some form of edge computing is needed, whether that is edge, mobile edge or even fog computing.  And wherever distributed/edge computing is called for, intelligent remote power management is a requisite. 

Here are three questions that should accompany every edge computing deployment:

  • How are you going to avoid a truck roll when hardware is locked up?
  • How are you going to know if you are consuming more power in one location than is typical?
  • How are you going to know if the site is having a thermal issue?

Your Power Strategy Experts are standing by to help you answer these questions and more. 

But I’d like to hear from you – what do consider to be the most important factors when designing an edge computing application?

Email me at marc.cram@servertech.com, or @mcram01 on twitter.

Learn More About What We Can Do For Your Edge Computing Application


Hyperscale Demands...

Posted by Marc Cram on Apr 7, 2017 11:29:07 AM

Utility power should just be there. Always on. Never failing. Today’s hyperscale data center designs frequently count on the electric utility to supply them with a stable source of clean renewable energy. Alternatively, some use locally generated power with the utility as a backup.  Combining robust software stacks that incorporate either virtual machine or container technologies in a rack with in-rack UPS solutions ensures a high degree of uptime and failover capability. Your hyperscale data center can’t tolerate a PDU as the weakest link in the power distribution chain. You need the best PDU solution in the business. You need Server Technology.

What are the most important things you look for in choosing a power solution?

  1. Price?
  2. Availability?
  3. Technology?
  4. Reliability?
  5. Support?

I’d like to hear from you. Email me at Marc.Cram@servertech.com or on twitter @mcram01

Topics: Hyperscale

Datacenter Models: Private Cloud

Posted by Marc Cram on Sep 16, 2016 9:43:45 AM


Private cloud is a term that is easily misunderstood.  "Private cloud computing is defined by privacy, not location, ownership or management responsibility," Gartner’s Tom Bittman says. A private cloud is dedicated to a single customer, and may reside in customer owned premises, or in the cloud provider’s premises. Operating your IT in a private cloud offers many of the same benefits of public cloud, such as scalability and energy efficiency.

For those having applications that require compliance with HIPAA or PCI DSS, operating a private cloud infrastructure can make a lot of sense.

See the Server Technology Industry Brief “What Type of Datacenter User Are You?” for a further discussion on colocation, public and private clouds.

Datacenter Model Industry Brief

Topics: private cloud, data center options, data center model

Datacenter Models: Public Cloud

Posted by Marc Cram on Sep 14, 2016 3:34:38 PM


Most everyone in the IT field today is aware of the availability of public cloud infrastructure from Amazon, Microsoft, Google, IBM/Softlayer, and others. Public cloud services are the most rapidly growing segment of IT according to Gartner and other industry analysts. The benefits of adopting public cloud are numerous, such as scalability, flexibility, and the ability to operate without capital expenditures. In many cases, relying on public cloud can be greener than a custom built datacenter.

For those with growing IT needs and not having room for expansion, migrating applications to a public cloud provider can be a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to deliver the functionality needed without spending a lot of cash up front on hardware.

See the Server Technology Industry Brief “What Type of Datacenter User Are You?” for a further discussion on colocation, public and private clouds.

Datacenter Model Industry Brief

Topics: data center models, public cloud, data center model

What Type of Datacenter User Are You?

Posted by Marc Cram on Sep 12, 2016 10:32:43 AM


While both “cloud” and “cloud-first” are the new go to IT solutions for many companies, there remain a large number of situations where a complete outsourcing of your hardware infrastructure is not practical. In that circumstance, colocation of your IT should make the short list for consideration, whether it is driven by the needs for expansion, proximity, or interconnect. Colocation offers the advantages of highly efficient buildings, support for multiple locations, and access to some of the best interconnections available in the industry.

For those that are expanding beyond the use of a few hundred virtual machines running in the cloud, growing into one or more colocation facilities can bring a quick return on investment without requiring the capital to build your own green field datacenter. Colocation can also serve as a bridge point between public and private cloud deployments.

See the Server Technology Industry Brief “What Type of Datacenter User Are You?” for a further discussion on colocation, public and private clouds.

Datacenter Model Industry Brief

Topics: cloud data center, colocation, cloud first, datacenter model

Got Convergence? Get a Converged PDU

Posted by Marc Cram on Feb 16, 2015 9:41:02 AM


Today, Intel and others are exploring the ramifications of a “disaggregated” server. Putting the RAM on a shelf. The storage on a shelf. The compute on a shelf. Then interconnecting them with a multi-way optical switch that provides connectivity between the shelves as well as off rack communications. The rack becomes a computer with all of the commodity parts providing low cost redundancy and hot-swap capability.

What are the main components of a desktop PC? The hardware consists of a power supply, a motherboard with a CPU, a permanent memory drive (hard drive, optical drive, etc.) to store the operating system, main memory (usually DRAM), a graphics controller that is often integrated onto the motherboard, a network interface, a sound processor/amplifier, and a chassis.

Now take a look at a “(hyper) converged server.”  Let’s see. There is a server-oriented CPU, some permanent storage (hard drive, SSD), a network interface, a power supply, some RAM, a graphics controller, and a chassis. Looks pretty similar overall to the desktop of yore! Even the form factor is similar. It seems that we have come full circle from where we were in the 1990s. The only significant differences from a desktop PC are the scale (more memory, faster drives) and the software stack running on the platform that gives the “hyperconverged server” its native support for virtualization and containers. Presumably then, “hyperconverged” is a comparison to the “disaggregated” server. What “hyperconverged” really has going for it is the ability to put additional units into a rack or datacenter that can be discovered and integrated to operate together in seamless expandability. We definitely couldn’t do that in the 1990s. Every system was a standalone piece of discrete hardware (client-server architecture for those with long memories).

A rack of (hyper) converged appliances are going to draw a fair amount of power, and require a significant number of outlets. A typical 2U appliance will have dual power supplies, each of which requires a C13 outlet. So for a 42U rack, that is 21 appliances having 42 power supplies. In a redundant power configuration, that puts two PDUS of at least 21 outlets each. With a typical 1200W maximum per power supply, that is a potential load of 25.2 KW on either strip. For most datacenters, that means going either with 208V 3-phase 60A PDU (and running the risk of tripping the branch circuit protection), or moving up to 415V circuits of 32A or 60A, requiring some very high capability PDUS.

Someone implementing such a rack of converged products is not going to have any tolerance for downtime. Too many people and processes are all relying on the performance of the hardware in that rack. This means the PDUs powering this gear must be rock solid and capable of communicating whether running on mains or backup power. Check out the new Pro2 architecture from Server Technology. It too is converged, and it delivers!


Topics: data center best practices, convergence