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Shouldn’t We Be Talking About Medium Density?

Posted by RJ Tee on Oct 16, 2017 6:30:00 PM


In the world of rack-mountable power distribution, the term high density is so hot right now. After all, it is no secret to anyone in the industry that the business that takes place within the four corners of a rack has been warming up faster than a Jane Fonda workout video.

But what about the no man’s land known as medium density?

For those data center managers whose fleet of racks fit the more normative density of 3 to 4 kW per rack average, the step to medium density is more like a leap. Making the jump to 5-10 kW per rack is a leap that forces managers to address the very same issues that high-density rack mount PDUs are equipped to support.

In fact, according to this DCD Intelligence whitepaper, the number of racks globally that fall into a density category of <5 kW per rack has actually dropped from 56% to 42% over the course of the last six years. Within the same timeframe, the number of racks considered medium density (5-10kW) has increased from 29% to 37%, and those considered high density increased from 14% to 21%. That is a 7 to 8 percentage point increase in both the medium and high-density categories.

And guess who has been stealing all the headlines? The high-density rack users.

(if you're one of those, check out our density solutions page)

We sincerely apologize to the medium density data center demographic for all the high-density hullabaloo.  Really.  We love you, too, man, and understand your needs.  And to show our support, we declare that your density issues are just as important in the world of rack mount PDUs.

You know, things like:

  • The need for more outlets per linear foot of PDU
  • Higher power capacity and delivery
  • Having the right kind of outlets in the right place
  • Rack PDUs rated for higher heat loads
  • The ability to utilize and manage alternating phases

Server Technology is your high, er, medium density power strategy expert. While HDOT does indeed stand for ‘High Density Outlet Technology,’ head to our Online PDU Building Tool to generate your own ‘MDOT’ medium density rack PDU. 

Click to read the latest DCD white paper:  Managing the Unpredictable: How to Increase Data Center  Density and Capacity Without Increasing Risk


Topics: density, Data Center Density, medium density

Selecting the Right Hyperscale PDU

Posted by RJ Tee on Sep 21, 2017 10:28:39 AM


Yes, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and Google – we’re talking to you and your kind.

While most would consider it a good day to dominate the world of commerce, you and your hyperscale computing compatriots have completely changed the landscape of information technology and data centers as we used to know them. Your executive leadership is brilliant, your stocks are soaring, and you’ve got the world at your feet.

Well, ever think about what life would be like without the right rack PDU? OK, you have to admit, we’ve got you there.

Hyperscale data centers rely on absurd amounts of energy — think Google’s 5.7 terawatt-hour consumption in 2015 — used in the most efficient manner. But every watt that goes to cooling can’t be used for computing, so it also relies on innovative distribution to support those two competing goals. Add to the mix the constant need for crisp data center environmental monitoring, and you can see why our offerings fit the needs of the industry that redefined the notion of rack power density.

So, what can we offer these users?

Basic PDUs: think power in, power out. Available in higher voltages and without the bells and whistles, a basic PDU offers simplicity and reliability in operations where the supporting architecture supports failed compute nodes.

PRO2 Smart and Smart POPS PDUs: integrate inline power monitoring and remote monitoring capabilities through SNMP. These intelligent PDUs are perfect for those racks where the loads are neither static nor equally distributed, or where monitoring is difficult due to a variety of server protocols.

HDOT PDUs: think of these as the fix for too many devices, too many power cords, and too many BTUs. The high-density outlet technology in our HDOT PDUs allows hyperscalers to bend the laws of physics and support loads up to 100 kW per cabinet and not warp from the heat load.

For more information about hyperscale computing, check out our new Hyperscale White Paper, or for more information about different PDU types and applications, you can visit the Solutions page on the Server Technology web site.

Your Hyperscale Data Center Demands Reliability. Why Compromise? Learn More Today


Topics: Data Center Density, Hyperscale

If You Can’t Stand The Heat … Fix It

Posted by Josh Schaap on Aug 26, 2016 9:14:36 AM

Hallway-with-a-row-of-servers-in-server-room.pngUpdated 5/26/2017 - Original Post 08/26/2016

When President Harry S. Truman coined the phrase, “If you don’t like the heat, get out of the kitchen,” in 1942, he was referring to critics of his aggressive use of war contracts in the Second World War. Good advice for politics, perhaps, but not so much for data center management. In fact, when heat becomes an issue in your data center, it’s time to do something about it.

Each kW hour of server power creates and equivalent amount of heat. Over time, this heat can accumulate, impacting server performance.  You canmonitor this within the cabinet, zone, and location levels.  While servers have been adapted to withstand higher temperatures, computing power is rising, and this is generating more heat.  Add on top of this the growth of virtualized servers leading to fewer idling computers, and you have an endless cycle of heat generation.

The fact is that many power and cooling systems can’t efficiently meet the demands of today’s data center. The perimeter-based CRAC units of yesterday were sufficient when rack densities hovered at the 2-4 kW per rack range, but this doesn’t really work in a modern data center.

The two main problems that currently exist are:

  • More heat means more cooling infrastructure is required. New servers and switches can create 10 times the heat per square foot as those made 10 years ago.
  • Often, high-density servers are installed in the same data centers as prior generation systems. Because of this, rack densities aren’t increasing evenly across the data center, leading to areas that are hotter than others. Bottom-of-the-rack equipment may consume so much of the cooler air that any remaining cold air isn’t enough to cool top-of-the-rack equipment.

The Power Strategy Experts at Server Technology offer a couple of tips to follow in order to keep cool and carry on in your data center.

  1. Monitor, monitor, monitor: Monitoring is crucial at the branch and in-feed levels for capacity planning purposes if you’re looking to identify zombie servers and stranded capacity. Doing so will help achieve higher efficiency. As Calvin Nicholson, Server Technology’s Senior Director of Software and Firmware Development, says, “you can’t manage what you don’t monitor.” Monitoring tools such as Sentry Power Manager help companies report on and track device-specific power consumption.  Learn more about the top tools for environmental monitoring.
  2. Provisioning: It’s vital that data center operators not only embrace the idea of provisioning, but that they act upon it. Often, companies overprovision power to under-used cabinets, wasting money. As real estate costs rise, it’s getting harder and harder to justify this sort of practice. And, provisioning the wrong type of power can also negatively impact data center operations. Server Technology recommends provisioning at a higher power source such as 415V.

Learn more about our solutions for power monitoring and provisioning here.

Topics: data center temperature, Remote Power Monitoring, Data Center Density

Why Denser Data Centers Are Growing In Popularity

Posted by Josh Schaap on Aug 22, 2016 9:59:46 AM


An increasingly common conversation within the data center industry revolves around the need for flexibility balanced against the desire to save money. It’s getting harder to make the case that your enterprise needs more land for capacity expansion. At the same time, 27 percent of data center costs are for power, according to a DCD report in 2014. As you can imagine, the result has been a drive for proportionally higher server and power densities across the globe.

An new DCD whitepaper also found the following, related to density:

  • Management is growing more risk-averse. Maximizing a data center’s space lets its managers better handle demand down the road. 

  • Server racks are getting denser and denser. With this, they’re becoming more expensive to operate. As a result, the “fit out” has become more complex and dependent on networks and not just on servers. The demand for more outlets in a smaller form factor is likewise increasing.
  • IT loads are becoming less predictable. The peaks of demand fuelled by external sources, including mobile device traffic, will only grow exponentially with time. For data center managers, this translates to a need to stay ahead of demand via necessary infrastructure.
  • Data centers are quickly becoming spaces where companies share facilities with their competitors. Because of this, key architectures have emerged, including virtualization, cloud and software defined. These are abstracting the physical properties of the data center and reconstituting them wholly or partially into an IT layer.
  • Public scrutiny is driving denser data centers. Between public opinion and government regulation, the push is for data centers to be more energy efficient, using green tech. There’s also an economic motivation for data centers to conserve power: large facilities have been shown to save hundreds of thousands of dollars in operating expenses by adopting greener power management and cooling strategies.

One great way to bring greater density and efficiency to your data center is with Server Technology’s patented HDOT technology. Learn more about it here.

Topics: power density, data center power, Data Center Density

Average Power Density Vs. Peak Power Density

Posted by Josh Schaap on Mar 1, 2016 1:23:18 PM


Links updated Dec 05, 2017

Do you truly have a grasp on the difference between average rack power density and maximum rack power density across your data center floor? It’s a common mistake not to understand the difference between power density that’s averaged over time and power density peak within a certain time period.

First, let’s clear up some terminology. Because precision matters, it’s better to think of power density averaged over time as “spatial power density variation” and power density peak as “temporal power density variation.” With spatial power density variation, the average spatial power density is dependent upon the data center’s size and often is correlated with infrastructure capacities, and peak spatial power density depends on individual components within the system tied to specific design aspects.

By way of example, a 345 W per square foot data center might contain specifications that 1 MW power and cooling are available for use over 2,900 square feet. If you use the AFCOM standard rack area of 25 square feet, then 116 racks are deployed at a power load average of 8.6 kW each.

With temporal power density variation, average temporal power density depends on regular application loads while the peak temporal power density depends on sporadic application loads.

We delve deeper into the topic of spatial vs. temporal power density variation in the white paper Managing Variable Data Center Rack Densities,” where we also discuss real-life examples of peak allowable power loads and guide you through overprovisioning some or all racks to allow the overall data center to reach the allowable peak.

The paper ties in the density discussion with main data center goals of efficiency, capacity planning and uptime. It also provides guidance for cutting through the fog of how power equipment densities vary within data centers and shows you how to plan for handling the varying densities at the rack level.

Read it here.

Need more?  View our other data center power density resources here.

Topics: density, Server Technology, Data Center Density, Average Vs. Peak Density

Want To Reduce Costs For Multi-Tenant Customers?

Posted by Josh Schaap on Sep 29, 2015 12:51:33 PM

Improving the data center

Competition is fierce in the global multi-tenant data center market right now. At the midway point of 2015, for instance, the market grew by 4.7 percent. And physically speaking, the market expanded by about 90,000 square meters during the second quarter alone.

As DatacenterDynamics pointed out, this growth is being driven primarily by the fact that multi-tenant data centers are able to provide faster network speeds at lower prices for customers by cross-connecting and interconnecting these customers to carriers and other data centers via physical cables. In doing so, they’re able to bypass costly th ird-party Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Despite the market’s strong growth rate, however, providers are still facing a challenge in regard to high operating costs. And as electricity rates continue to rise, and resources become scarce, high operating costs are becoming a bigger problem. It’s therefore important that network administrators look for ways to reduce costs in order to keep customer pricing under control.

One strategy you can use to control costs is to increase your server densities through virtualization.

By consolidating multiple workloads onto fewer servers, virtualization can produce the same output while using less energy than if the workload was spread out amongst several other servers. Virtualization, as it’s often described, is a bit like public transportation where it costs less for passengers to pile onto a bus or train than to take separate cars.

The process seems like a no-brainer, except for one small hang-up: It’s risky to increase server densities if you’re not using a proper data center power monitoring solution. This is due to the fact that increasing densities can lead to problems like overloading and overheating.

Server Technology can help you mitigate risk while increasing server densities with its High Density Outlet Technology (HDOT) solution. Using HDOT, you will gain up to 42 C13 outlets in a 42U by 1U device, as well as alternating phase power distribution, and per-inlet power sensing for real-time reporting. HDOT also comes with temperature and humidity monitoring, so you can tell if your servers are getting too hot.

Click here to learn more about HDOT

Click here to download the density in the data center industry brief!


Topics: Data Center Density

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