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PDU API: Open, Easy and Efficient

Posted by Calvin Nicholson on Aug 16, 2018 7:05:00 AM


The data center industry has had a primary focus of energy consumption for many years due to increasing power demands and the need to continuously provision for more power. This need for more power capacity, augmented by the increasing cost for electricity, has created an urgency to effectively manage the power resources and energy usage. It is more prevalent than ever before for the Data Center Manager to ascertain the capability to determine, drive and report on energy efficiency while overseeing capacity planning management.

The data center facility contains racks of Information Technology (IT) equipment that consists of server racks, network racks, and storage racks. The methodology chosen for power delivery to IT equipment within these racks is a key factor for operational best practices that will allow power delivery improvements and drive up energy efficiency. Comprehensive power management and control is required to understand how power is being used and what can be done for improvements.

You cannot improve something that is not being measured!

One key tool in today’s arsenal, to help with these challenges, is a well-documented Restful based API.  For many organizations, it is the “out with the old and in with the new” mentality which, in this case, is often replacing older tools, like SNMP, with API based integrations to manage devices and retrieve key information like power metrics.  I think that this is really driven by the fact that today API’s are easy to use, secure and easy to find as most everyone is offering one.  In today’s world, a student fresh out of college can easily and quickly use an API while it can take days to figure out SNMP and how to get that same information from that same device.

Another key to success is a “well documented” API with a breakdown of the different resources available within the API, code examples, and definition of the properties within each resource.  I have been involved in many integrations over the years including middleware software tools, DCIM, building management systems and other monitoring devices, including cabinet PDUs, and it is clear, that the one universal tool emerging from the dust is a REST based API.  Often with little or no direction, an API based integration goes off without a hitch, while an SNMP based project can spur multiple questions and emails chains, sometimes taking days to complete the work. 


Server Technology’s latest firmware release (v 8.0m), for our PRO series rack PDUs, has our JSON API Web Service (JAWS) v1.00 support.  JAWS provides our customers full configuration, monitoring, and control, with secure operation over HTTPS.  Both the firmware and API documentation are free to download and are available on our website.

Topics: power distribution and monitoring, PDU, rack PDU, network controlled power strip

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