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Uptime and the Job of Predicting the Unpredictable

Posted by RJ Tee on Jan 25, 2018 12:19:20 PM


Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? If one were to take the second half of the title of this blog at face value, it would be. A thing that escapes prediction is by definition unpredictable, and it would be a fool’s errand to spend time finding a thing that is impossible to find.

You might find yourself in a perilous predicament that impedes your prosperity. Or something like that.

But besides the catchy title and having some fun with alliteration, we would like to take a moment to recognize the men and women who indeed seem to do the impossible. You know who you are.

You’re in charge of a data center.

And if you are, you likely share with us the amusement of keeping up with the latest trends in our industry. By amusing, we do not mean that they should not be taken seriously; on the contrary, as an industry we tend to do a pretty good job of tracking future trends. But amid the excitement and promises of things like Artificial Intelligence in the Internet of Things, we tend to forget that there is something more basic and less newsworthy that we are all aiming for.

That would be uptime.

If you have ever experienced standing in a data center when the power goes out, you know that there is nothing more unsettling than the sound of silence in your facility. You instantly miss the gentle rumble of the mechanical systems delivering cold air to your cold aisles, just as quickly as you are aware of the sound of the beeps coming from inconsolable power protection gear and frightened server equipment.

Yes, downtime is a scary place, which is probably why nobody likes to blog about it. One of the best ways to keep from having to go there, both literally and figuratively, is through the intelligent features found in Server Technology rack PDUs.

  • Real-time environmental alerts: manage environmental challenges like heat and humidity with rack-level monitoring.
  • Capacity planning: know how new equipment will impact existing loads at the rack or row level.
  • Consumption data: get power draw information so that you can keep a close watch on your facility at all times.
  • Remote management: make critical adjustments at any time, even from outside the facility.

At Server Technology, our goal is to help you stay online even if things are predictably unpredictable. For more on how we do that, head over to our HDOT PDU configuration tool to learn more.

Learn why proactive power management is key to data center initiatives.

Topics: uptime, intelligent PDUs, smart, data center uptime, Switched PDU

Protect Your Data Center for the Busy Holiday Shopping Rush

Posted by RJ Tee on Nov 27, 2017 1:24:05 PM


It’s official: We are now in one of the busiest times of the year for shopping. All across the world, consumers are scouring the Internet looking for deals on gifts. This year, holiday shoppers are expected to spend at least $680 billion which is an increase from the $655 billion that was spent in 2016.

This is great news for your business, especially when coupled with the long-term economic predictions for 2018. According to Goldman Sachs, the economy is expected to boom in 2018. So consumers will have even more money to spend on products and services.

Of course, success isn’t guaranteed in business even during the most favorable economic conditions. In order to capitalize on a healthy market, and win over customers, it’s vital to have one thing: A healthy and fully-functioning network. And this starts with a robust data center power management strategy.

Network downtime, in other words, can happen at any time and for a variety of reasons (like foul weather, environmental catastrophes or human error). And when it happens during a busy time like the holiday rush, it can be absolutely catastrophic.

So as you optimize your data center for the holiday shopping rush, make sure you take power management into consideration. This is something that tends to go overlooked. But power management is a critical part of data center operability, and scalability.

Server Technology offers a variety of intelligent power distribution units, and ultra-fast shipment times. So even if you miss Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there is still time to upgrade your current infrastructure before the season is over.

To view our product selector, click here.

Click to try our PDU selection wizard

Topics: intelligent power strip, uptime, intelligent PDUs, data center uptime, Switched

What Thermal Exhaust Ports Have You Overlooked in Your Data Center?

Posted by Erik Stabile on Dec 21, 2016 2:34:45 PM


Look at you, skulking around your data center like Lord Vader at home in his Death Star. Sure, you don’t have any plans to destroy any competitors’ offices or nearby planets with your superlaser any time soon, but you’re pretty confident that, if given the opportunity, you could.


In the mean time, you can rest easy in your ergonomic office chair knowing that your department—and job—are safe and secure. Right?

Well, this is exactly what Darth Vader did. And it didn’t work out too well for him.


What Vader failed to realize is that his chief architect made a critical error that would ultimately lead to his demise. By overlooking the Death Star’s thermal exhaust ports, he left the space station wide open to Luke’s attack, which ultimately led to its destruction.

Should we cut the kid some slack? It’s tough to say. On one hand, the Death Star was the size of the Moon. So it’s easy to see why he did so, as he needed to expel the pent up exhaust generated by the immense station. On the other hand, there was another main exhaust port, so it may not have been entirely necessary. What we’d really love to see is a tape of the minutes from the Empire’s executive Death Star planning committee meeting. We could only hope for this to emerge someday. Hint hint, George.

In either case, there’s a valuable lesson to be learned here: You may be overlooking some critical design flaws related to energy efficiency which could come back to bite you if you don’t discover and fix them. After all, on most days, your data center consumes close to the same amount of energy the Death Star used. And while you may not have any X-wings in your neighborhood, you do have the Force-wielding C-suite to be aware of who are just itching for an excuse to outsource your department to an offsite managed services provider. So you need to ensure your data center infrastructure is highly efficient, and not hemorrhaging power and money.

By implementing power monitoring PDUs, utilizing virtualization and containers, automating data center management systems—among other architectural considerations that you can find by clicking here—you can ensure that your data center stays safe and secure.


Topics: data center uptime

Twelve Key Features of Pro2: Part 2

Posted by Josh Schaap on Aug 17, 2016 8:53:09 AM


Last week, we talked about six of the key features of our PRO2 PDUs, which sport the latest in innovative design from Server Technology. This week, we’ll explore six more ways the PRO2 serves as the PDU built to not only meet customers’ needs today, but to ensure flexibility for the future.

  1. Uptime: Time and again, our customers tell us they want a product that allows them to maintain their uptime. To this end, we designed the PRO2 with a hot swappable network card, shown above, letting you swap in a new card while under power. Once the new card is in, no other additional configuration changes are needed. Simply pop in the new card, you’re up and ready to go.
  1. Alerts: The new PRO2 firmware architecture allows for a lot of new features such as alerts and alarms. The PRO2 features multi-level alerts for key power information (both PIPS and POPS), and at the branch and phase levels. The benefit here is that the user gets notifications before problems get out of hand.
  1. Security: Customers also demand high levels of security from our products. The PRO2 allows for secure firmware uploads while performing validity checks on the firmware as it’s being uploaded. We’ve also provided the unique function of letting customers use their own certificates and keys.
  1. User-friendliness: PRO2 features a new graphical interface, making it much easier to use. Now, customers can see valuable power information at a glance.
  1. File system ease of use: Our file system is unique in that it allows for the easy uploading of firmware, while the PRO2 can store files such as an onboard MIB.
  1. Key performance indicators: The data our users obtain from PIPS and POPs come in the form of a report that can be exported via CSV file. This file contains valuable information, including Min/Max/Average details. With this report in hand, you can ultimately manage the efficiency of your data center better.

Coupled with our award-winning Sentry Power Manager software, the PRO2 PDU is the perfect data center power solution for those looking for expandability and flexibility. Demo one online today.

Topics: data center power, uptime, PRO2, data center uptime

What’s The Real Cost of Data Center Downtime?

Posted by Josh Schaap on May 6, 2016 9:30:31 AM


Ever experienced that sinking feeling when you check in on your 401k only to find that it’s been slowly hemorrhaging your future away for the past six months? Financial advisors will, of course, tell you to hold tight, play the long game and wait out the ups and downs. That’s a good strategy when you’ve got years until retirement, but it’s not a particularly helpful approach when you’re running a data center.

The financial drain caused by downtime can’t be waited out or recovered later. It’s real, it’s happening now and it’s expensive. How expensive? Citing a Ponemon Institute study, ZDNet’s David Chernicoff says the tab for unplanned downtime averages $7,900 a minute or as much as $474,000 an hour. Extrapolate that out and it only takes a little over two hours to negatively impact business by a million dollars. Needless to say, anything less than 100 percent uptime from day one is unacceptable.

Server Technology’s customers understand that 100 percent uptime is a realistic goal, thanks to products such as our PRO2 product family. Featuring hot-swappable, redundantly powered network cards, PRO2 PDUs come in smart and switched versions with both high-density outlets and alternating phase technology. The firmware in PRO2 allows for much more configuration and customization than other PDUs, and it does so with a super clean, easy to use interface.

Our PRO2 PDUs are even more powerful when combined with our Sentry Power Manager software, which offers data center managers the right tools to make decisions leading to maximal uptime. SPM is a cost-effective way to bring together disparate measurement points to improve efficiency and analyze capacity.

Want to learn more about maximizing data center uptime? Read about the top six reasons every data center manager should use SPM or download a free demo today.  

Topics: downtime, data center uptime

Increased Uptime + Higher Compute Density = Greater ROI

Posted by Josh Schaap on Mar 24, 2016 10:57:12 AM


In the advertising world, there are no such things as coincidences. When you hop on the Internet to find a product and you come across an ad that seems perfectly tailored to you, it’s no mere accident. More than likely, an advertising tech company like our client, Turn, has helped you find that product by serving up relevant ads through consumer data.

In order to power its platform – which responds to half of the world’s Internet page views in as little as 10 milliseconds – Turn employs a highly scalable multi-tiered server infrastructure using a Big Data analytics engine and a powerful suite of software. Recently, Turn sought to reconfigure its hardware with one setup containing 23 devices per rack and 43 devices per rack on the other. It also sought to make the most of its colocation space while powering support to customers via data-driven advertising efforts. Finally, Turn was looking for remote monitoring capabilities for its hardware.

The hitch? As Turn has grown, its systems across several data centers had become more and more complicated. Its number of hardware configurations and variations had also grown exponentially.

By working with Server Technology’s Power Strategy Experts, Turn was able to select a single PDU form factor to satisfy its power needs while reducing the per-node footprint in its colocation facility. STI helped Turn achieve this by recommending 48U tall racks while implementing only two varieties of rack configurations with more compute nodes on each rack. This 48-outlet solution enabled Turn to realize a 5 to 10 percent reduction in floor space per compute node. Turn also went with cabinet PDUs with remote monitoring and management, helping them to keep an eye on power at various colocations facilities. Also, as a result, Turn has seen increased uptime, fewer failures and an increased compute density that can withstand higher operating temperatures.

Server Technology’s data center rack PDUs and power management solutions are the answer not just for Turn, but for more than 60,000 customers around the globe. STI even offers customers the ability to build their own PDUs online. Learn more about our award-winning power management solutions that help you reduce downtime, improve power usage and drive efficiency in your data center.

Topics: data center uptime, Data Center ROI

Are You as Resourceful as Mark Watney in ‘The Martian’?

Posted by Erik Stabile on Feb 17, 2016 9:20:57 AM


In the Oscar-nominated film “The Martian,” astronaut Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, uses his wits and available resources to attempt survival on a hostile planet. With a limited supply of food, water and air to breath, he optimizes his immediate resources to mitigate risks posed by the dangerous forces surrounding his space station. 

Similarly, data center operators must maximize their resources within the data center to prevent potential threats, such as power outages, which could diminish uptime and, thus, result in a major revenue loss. 

Today’s hostile business environment, even if tame compared to the one Watney faced, presents significant risks to data center uptime, efficiency and reliability. For instance, if energy consumption within the data center isn’t used efficiently—even if from a renewable resource such as solar or wind—cabinets could overheat. The resulting loss of power could cut off access to the network, leaving customers stranded without access to mission-critical applications and connectivity. 

What’s more, inclement weather can directly affect data center soundness. For instance, in the event of a hurricane or tornado, power could be lost—or worse, the building could become physically damaged. As such, data center operators ought to consider laying a sturdy foundation of intelligent rack-level power solutions to ensure durability and reliability in such situations. 

To maximize resources within the data center, operators should consider implementing power management and measuring solutions that afford real-time reporting. A reporting feature is essential for tracking up-to-the-minute power efficiency in the data center so operators can be alerted to potential risks and mitigate them. Click here to learn more about optimizing your resources so that your data center is fit for survival.

Topics: data center power, data center uptime

5G Demand and Data Center Uptime: A Love Story

Posted by Josh Schaap on Feb 9, 2016 10:21:22 AM


Network administrators are continuously caught up in many torrid technological romances. Just consider their love/hate relationship with bandwidth. That is, administrators love the data center uptime they get when bandwidth capacity is aligned with network loads but hate struggling to ensure uptime when systems are overloaded. So, imagine how their love will be tested as the bandwidth demands of 5G networks barrel toward them.

Read More!

Case in point, a recent report from Juniper Research revealed that 5G service revenues are set to exceed $65 billion by 2025. Compare that to the mere $100 million that is expected from 5G’s first commercial year of service in 2020. To support the high demand for the new, more robust 5G networks, IT professionals must gear up now so that this love story will be one of long-lasting harmony.

Network administrators can ensure their data centers don’t fold under the pressure of supporting such a high degree of bandwidth demand by implementing advanced rack-level power monitoring and management solutions. In other words, “putting a ring on it,” committing to support your data center (in sickness and in health) with best-in-class uptime solutions.

Start now—before the 5G onslaught—by gearing up your data center to handle greater power demands. This Valentine’s Day, show you care about increasing energy efficiency and avoiding bumps in the road caused by power outages by considering a solution from Server Technology’s PRO2 product family.

Designed specifically with uptime in mind, PRO2 products help to improve redundancy, cater to customization and build resiliency within data center infrastructure. After all, the degree of uptime success a data center experiences is derived from how well it is designed. That is, by implementing intelligent power solutions like that of the PRO2 product family, network administrators can rest assured that their data center is sturdy and reliable right at its core.

Forget the candies and the roses, the most romantic gift this holiday season is guaranteeing data center uptime with smart power monitoring solutions.

Topics: bandwidth, data center uptime, 5g

The Power of SPM in Enterprise Data Centers

Posted by Josh Schaap on Jan 22, 2016 2:24:05 PM

A must have for every data center manager

Uptime is the top priority of data center operators everywhere, regardless of the company’s size. How you get there is a different story. Some organizations have the capital expenditure flexibility to add extra data and network redundancy to ensure uptime, but for the bulk of businesses out there, the possibility of downtime remains the stuff of nightmares.

Most enterprise data centers feature power redundancy served up from source power plants to the rack level via a pair of cabinet PDUs. However, if there’s a loss of power to the redundant partner and one of the distribution points fails, you’re looking at significant downtime.

Enter the cost-effective Sentry Power Manager (SPM).

A powerful piece of PDU monitoring software from Server Technology, the SPM has the ability to track each side of the power chain along with the combined loads per phase. Cabinet redundancy and circuit modeling give data center operators a heads-up on what’s going on in real time, which is more crucial than ever as power densities continue to increase. And, as densities grow, so do heat loads. The SPM measures temperature at multiple points in the cabinet, allowing you to verify that heat loads don’t threaten the equipment reliability.

A snap to configure, the SPM can be used to push various system, IP and security settings to the PDU en masse. It also lets you automate firmware updates, saving critical time and effort when configuring your PDUs.

Other benefits of SPM:

  • Custom views tailored to users
  • Alarm monitoring
  • Set up cabinet-level redundancy checks
  • Gate who has access to control equipment power
  • Capacity planning tools
  • Seamless integration thanks to an open API

If added network and data redundancy isn’t in your 2016 budget, the Sentry Power Manager is a must-have in order to help you stay powered.

Ready to try it? Download the free SPM demo here.

Topics: data center managers, data center uptime

One Surefire Way to Improve Uptime in 2016

Posted by Josh Schaap on Jan 19, 2016 11:22:23 AM


There is an array of variables that affect your data center uptime—from structural design to redundancy to fault tolerance. You could say that it’s a balancing act, ensuring that every element positively influences the others so that damaging issues—like power shortages—don’t tip the scale.

With that in mind, no two data centers are the same and, therefore, require agile technology that can be customized to meet the needs of specific environments. What’s more, technology that enables you to monitor and measure power levels consistently is essential to ensuring that your data center remains stable and that burning out resources doesn’t become a threat.

But finding suitable solutions that are truly effective and cost-efficient is no easy feat. After all, implementing a multitude of disparate solutions only adds more chaos as well as fees. What you really need to ensure that you improve uptime in the most strategic way in 2016 is a robust rack-level uptime solution that combines the best features of a range of products into one all-encompassing PDU.

For example, Server Technology’s PRO2 Switched POPS CDU is one single product that provides a wide range of solutions such as the following:

  • Amperage measurements at the input, brand and outlet levels that send alerts of impending overloads via SNMP traps and email
  • Per Inlet Power Sensing and Per Outlet Power Sensing for high-accuracy billing-grade measurements of voltage, power, power factor and energy

You only need one product to keep you informed and your data center running at its highest efficiency. Learn even more about Server Technology’s robust uptime solutions by clicking here.

Topics: uptime, data center uptime

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