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No Room for Errors When Planning for Data Center Power Capacity

Posted by RJ Tee on Feb 10, 2017 3:36:37 PM


As a data center administrator, one of the most important parts of your job — besides maintaining uptime and staying under budget — involves monitoring and managing your department’s resources. It’s your responsibility to make sure that your data center is fully capable of meeting the current and future needs of your enterprise and its changing customer base.

Of course, capacity planning is a broad topic that extends throughout all areas of the data center. It’s important to stay on top of resources like cooling, available rack and floor space, lighting and more. But all of these resources have one underlying commonality: They need electricity to function.  So data center power usage should be a top resource to monitor.

Many businesses, however, are still using outdated and ineffective power capacity planning solutions. Paper and spreadsheets, for instance, are still widely-used throughout the industry despite being prone to error and manipulation. With this type of system in place, it’s easy to miscalculate power usage data and submit reports that are inaccurate.

This can lead to the following problems:

Wasted dollars: Data centers are highly resource-intensive, which means every dollar must be put to good use. Power must be tracked and measured, in order to ensure that the most important infrastructure is receiving adequate amounts. It’s also important to know which servers are idle and how much electricity they are consuming — especially for data centers that operate at scale.

Greenwashing: Sustainability is a hot topic in marketing today. Unilever recently released a report showing that a third of consumers are now buying from brands based on their environmental and social impact. But if you’re thinking of using your data center to bolster your company’s status as an ecologically-friendly organization, you’ll have to be able to back up your claim with accurate reports and statistics. Otherwise, your business could be labeled as a “greenwasher,” or a business that spreads disinformation to appear responsible to the public.

Think your data center is green?  Prove it!

Here’s how you can avoid this:

There is only one way to accurately manage data center power consumption, and that is by using intelligent power distribution units (PDU) with embedded monitoring, reporting and switching functions.

Server Technology offers a variety of smart PDUs featuring High Density Outlet Technology (HDOT), which provide an industry-leading 42 C13 outlets in a single chassis. Many units also work in conjunction with the Sentry Power Manager (SPM) which is a fully-automated, Web-based power management platform.

SPM predicts future power usage with Min/Max/Average values using predictive trends and ascension rates. Using this product, you will actually be able to see the approximate time that your data center will exceed its power, capacity or temperature thresholds.

Best of all, SPM makes it easy to compile and export data center power usage reports, so that all team members can stay informed about electricity allocation. Ultimately, this creates a better sense of teamwork and collaboration while eliminating errors. The end result is a data center that runs more efficiently, cost-effectively and securely.

Build Your Own HDOT PDU 

Topics: SPM, capacity planning, Capacity planning solution

Batten Down the Hatches! Here Comes the First Waterborne Data Center

Posted by Josh Schaap on Nov 23, 2015 8:53:30 AM

What do Captain Ahab and network administrators have in common? Well, soon enough, they’ll both be responsible for maintaining ocean-bound vessels. Indeed, a startup called Nautilus Data Technologies is creating the first-ever waterborne data center, or more accurately ‘data barge.’

The creators of the data barge are hoping that it will serve as an efficient and eco-friendly solution to today’s data center power consumption challenges. In fact, the nautical data center will be cooled by the water in which it floats and is projected to engender a power usage effectiveness rating of 1.045, which is quite near its initial goal of 1. As such, the data barge may very well serve as an innovative answer to improving energy efficiency in the data center, however, its unconventional architecture comes with inherent risks.

Just consider that millions of dollars of valuable technology will be left floating in unpredictable ocean waters. That’s enough to make any network administrator a bit sea-sick. Without being able to continuously monitor the servers, the data barge could easily become comprised in an emergency situation. For instance, consider the consequences of the data barge suddenly losing power; all promises of maintaining uptime would simply jump ship.

To avoid devastating scenarios in your data center, whether it resides on land or sails the ocean blue, you ought to consider implementing the following solutions:

  • Fail-Safe power redundancy so you never have to worry about losing power and comprising uptime
  • Capacity planning solution such as Sentry Power Manager (SPM) to measure and monitor power efficiency at all times
  • Data center rack power management solution to ensure highest level of visibility on the rack level

Click here to learn about more types data center solutions that can help you steer clear of choppy waters.

Topics: Capacity planning solution, rack PDU, Fail-Safe power redundancy

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