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10 Things You Need to Know Before Ramping Up to 415 VAC Power

Posted by RJ Tee on Feb 20, 2017 1:03:33 PM

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You and your team members have been thinking about switching your cabinets to 415/240 VAC. This will reduce the total number of transformers in your power path, which should in effect reduce power loss — and operating costs — in your facility.  

Hold onto your horses before getting started, though. Here are 10 things you should know before attempting this:

  1. Most international data centers are already doing it: Be prepared to answer some questions from your supervisor or facilities manager. You may receive some pushback about pumping more voltage into your cabinets. That’s because here in the U.S., most data centers are using 240/120, 208/120 or 480/277 VAC systems. 208/120V high leg delta systems are sometimes used, too. But throughout the rest of the world, 400/230 VAC power distribution setups are commonplace. And this trend is quickly spreading throughout North America, as data centers are finding they need more power to support increasing densities and workloads.

 

  1. Mind your frequency: Most North American IT devices require 60Hz to operate, meaning they require a current that changes direction about 60 times per second. However, most 400 VAC systems run at 50Hz, and so you may run into some performance issues. This is true especially with your heating and cooling systems. You’ll want to keep a close watch on this, and look to see if there is a correlation if you start experiencing quality problems.

 

  1. Determine how to measure power loss: Talk with your team members and discuss whether you want to view power loss as an overhead expense, or an IT issue. Many large data centers — like Google — consider loss from a server’s power cord to be an overhead power expense. Google, for instance, only measures its servers, networking equipment and storage systems when calculating power usage effectiveness (PUE). Make sure you and your team members are all on the same page before proceeding to eliminate confusion.

 

To that point, it’s also time to stop calculating PUE if you haven’t already done so. As we discussed in a recent blog post, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning (ASHRAE) now has a new standard for measuring data center efficiency. And it does not include PUE.

 

  1. Plan for fault currents: By increasing your system voltage, you will increase the risk for fault currents on your network devices. Make sure that your downstream equipment has a high level of interrupting capacity, so that you avoid short circuits that could lead to unplanned system downtime.

 

  1. Follow safety precautions: By ramping up to 415/240 VAC, you will be operating a system that has more power, and more voltage. It’s not a simple tweak, but a serious change that could have major repercussions if you aren’t careful — namely serious injury or even death for IT personnel. Arc flashes, for instance — or electrical explosions — can sometimes happen when increasing power and voltage. So make sure that your staff members are well educated about the risks that come with the project, and that they are using proper safety gear in the data center.

 

  1. Ensure all devices are optimized: Most IT devices can operate between either 100 to 120 VAC, or between 200 and 240 VAC. But this is not something you want to guess about. Check each device’s nameplate rating to make sure they are capable of working safely at a higher voltage. If they can, you are golden; running devices at the higher voltages, equaling a lower current for the same power, will increase efficiencies approximately 2 to 3.5 percent.

 

  1. Watch out for higher costs: While increasing your power and voltage can save you money in the long run, it can also increase operating expenses- regardless, you are able to utilize more power at a more efficient rate. With that in mind, it’s important to monitor your system consistently in order to keep track of daily expenses.

 

  1. Temperatures may increase, too: Of course, you’ll also want to keep a close watch on your data center’s environmental conditions. This is especially important if you are running heavy workloads. Your best bet is to invest in an intelligent PDU that provides real-time environmental monitoring in addition to power metrics. Look for a solution that can send SNMP alerts, so that your team can spring to action if things go haywire in your data center.

 

  1. You will lose compatibility with 120V IT devices: Another thing to keep in mind is that some IT equipment may come with a 120 VAC NEMA power cord, which will not be compatible with a CDU in a 415/240 VAC system. You’ll need to switch over to a device that uses an IEC-based cord.

 

  1. Control is critical: The success of this operation will be determined by your ability to understand how your system is performing, and to make remote changes immediately when problems arise. Surprises will undoubtedly occur on the way, and you need to be in a position where you can react quickly.

 

Server Technology offers the Sentry Power Manager, which is a centralized, Web-based management console that you can use to manage your 415V setup. With the help of SPM, you can confidently migrate to a higher voltage in your data center safely and confidently.

 

To learn more information, click here.

 

Topics: 240/415V, efficiency

Innovative Solutions For Government Clients: Part 2

Posted by RJ Tee on Jan 23, 2017 11:30:00 AM

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In Part 1, we explained how the federal government is improving data center efficiency, lowering overall energy costs and optimizing their data center environments. In our next segment, we will dive deeper into solutions that can help meet those critical needs.

Federal Sales Manager Jason Mollicone discusses how Server Technology’s expertise with intelligent PDUs positions the company to best provide solutions to the power challenges faced by the federal government. He says the need for remote monitoring and management has become a priority over the past couple of years.

“We’re really starting to see those conversations come up in the federal space,” he says, explaining that Server Technology’s intelligent rack power solutions – from our Smart rack PDUs to our Switched PDUs - can help clients drill down to the outlet level, if needed, to see individual IT device power consumption and trends while allowing all necessary data points to be collected.

“Also, you have remote access into your PDUs, so if something needs to be turned off or rebooted remotely, you can do so very quickly,” he says. “In addition, from a security perspective, you can lock individual outlets to ensure proper access is granted prior to plugging in additional devices.”

On the Front Lines of Power Trends

A big buzzword in not only the government space, but with all data centers – is efficiency. Mollicone says one of Server Technology’s efficient solutions, Alt-Phase technology, can greatly enhance efficiency in three phase power applications. Alt Phase technology allows customers to easily balance loads by cording outlet by outlet instead of bank by bank, as you do in a traditional 3 phase rack PDU. This improves operational efficiency by allowing the customer to properly utilize available power in each rack, while improving air flow. In addition, it keeps phases well balanced, which increases power efficiency and lowers overall costs. 

The Impact of DCOI

With the institution of the Federal government’s Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI), which requires agencies to optimize their existing infrastructure and report on their efforts to do so, Mollicone says the pace of finding more efficient solutions for government clients has quickened.

“These data centers are very expensive to operate and maintain,” he says. “So, the more we can do to help lower costs, while providing the right solution, the better.”

Server Technology’s solutions for our federal clients also include the ability to provide more outlets per rack, which is found in our High Density Outlet Technology (HDOT) PDUs. The reason this is crucial, Mollicone says, is because the government’s recent consolidation efforts means we’re seeing rack densities increase.

“Equipment that may traditionally require three or four rack PDUs can now be implemented in two rack PDUs,” he says. “The more outlets we can put into one rack PDU means fewer PDUs are needed overall, resulting in less total hardware, lower costs and cleaner airflow, all while minimizing deployment time. That’s a good thing because it means there is less to manage and speaks very well to the goals of DCOI.”

Ultimately, it comes down to serving the client’s needs and developing innovative solutions to meet – and exceed – their expectations, a value Server Technology was founded on.

“If you can understand their challenges and have a solution that touches on all those points, there’s nothing more powerful,” he says.

Topics: data center power, efficiency, government data center

Streamlining Data Center Power Efficiency in the Government Sector

Posted by Erik Stabile on Feb 3, 2016 11:53:24 AM

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Image: Datacenter Work

Ensuring your data center is fully optimized so that it can remain cost- and energy-efficient as well as highly secure, is important for any industry. For the government, however, meeting these objectives is absolutely mandatory as the sensitive data at stake is critical to national and local security, and the costs of mismanagement directly affects taxpayers.

Today, many options exist to help data center managers elevate the performance of their sites. For instance, employing advanced rack-level technology, which enables network administrators to measure and monitor power consumption, can help prevent power outages by alerting staff to such issues as overheated servers. What’s more, measuring and monitoring power enables network administrators in the government sector to stay within budget by eliminating wasteful energy consumption.

In addition, reporting on data center metrics is essential to maintaining a truly successful operation. With a PDU that includes advanced reporting features, network administrators will have metrics in hand to analyze expenses and security vulnerabilities, enabling them to create a more efficient data center environment.

Here are some specific technology solutions for data center professionals within the government sector to consider when looking to streamline operations for optimal performance:

  • All-in-one PDU: Server Technology’s all-in-one PDU includes all its flagship offerings, such as HDOT-Switched on the PRO 2 platform and alternating phase outlets. This technology solution enables government data centers to gain a complete view of power usage effectiveness as well as load balancing to increase efficiency.
  • Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC)-certified PDU: This solution from Server Technology is specifically designed for the unique requirements of government data centers. Click here to read more about government-specific solutions from Server Technology.

Don’t let tax dollars go to waste using inefficient data center technology. Implement sound, best-in-class power monitoring and measuring solutions to ensure your data center remains secure, as well as both energy- and cost-efficient.

Topics: efficiency, government data center

Three Reasons to Invest in Power Monitoring This Winter

Posted by Eric Giacomini on Sep 23, 2015 9:09:42 AM

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Right now you and your IT staff are in the process of planning your budget for 2015. During this course of action, have you considered investing in a data center power monitoring solution for your business?  

A data center power monitoring solution is a rack-level management system that lets you observe and control your power intake and environmental settings from a central Web-based location. It’s affordable, easy to install and simple to use.

Here are three major benefits it can provide for your facility: 

Increase UPS efficiency: When the electricity goes out in your facility and your UPS power supply kicks in, you’ll want to make sure that you squeeze every ounce of energy that you can from it. Research shows that the average UPS only has an efficiency level of 92 percent, so you’ll want to make sure that power is being adequately distributed to all of your equipment. A monitoring solution can help provide the visibility necessary for making critical changes when necessary to conserve power and protect your equipment.

Create a proactive IT culture: A power monitoring solution will help you spot electricity-related problems well in advance, giving you the power to make critical changes before downtime occurs. By establishing an IT culture based on proactive maintenance, you can save money and time in your data center.

Re-allocate your IT staff: Are your best IT workers spending the majority of their time tending to power-related issues? If so, it’s time to re-allocate your staff to higher-level work. This can be accomplished through the use of a central power manager, which can provide real-time power monitoring and alerting. When something goes wrong, your team will know exactly where the problem is and how to fix it.  

Start Tracking Data!  Schedule a Live SPM Demo Today! 

 

Topics: Data Center, power monitoring, IT, efficiency, 2015

Three Reasons to Invest in Data Center Power Monitoring This Winter

Posted by Eric Giacomini on Jan 9, 2015 1:42:00 PM

winter 476742 640

Right now you and your IT staff are in the process of planning your budget for 2015. During this course of action, have you considered investing in a data center power monitoring solution for your business?  

A data center power monitoring solution is a rack-level management system that lets you observe and control your power intake and environmental settings from a central Web-based location. It’s affordable, easy to install and simple to use.

Here are three major benefits it can provide for your facility: 

Increase UPS efficiency: When the electricity goes out in your facility and your UPS power supply kicks in, you’ll want to make sure that you squeeze every ounce of energy that you can from it. Research shows that the average UPS only has an efficiency level of 92 percent, so you’ll want to make sure that power is being adequately distributed to all of your equipment. A monitoring solution can help provide the visibility necessary for making critical changes when necessary to conserve power and protect your equipment.

Create a proactive IT culture: A power monitoring solution will help you spot electricity-related problems well in advance, giving you the power to make critical changes before downtime occurs. By establishing an IT culture based on proactive maintenance, you can save money and time in your data center.

Re-allocate your IT staff: Are your best IT workers spending the majority of their time tending to power-related issues? If so, it’s time to re-allocate your staff to higher-level work. This can be accomplished through the use of a central power manager, which can provide real-time power monitoring and alerting. When something goes wrong, your team will know exactly where the problem is and how to fix it.  

Topics: Data Center, power monitoring, IT, efficiency, 2015