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HDOT Family Welcomes Per Outlet Power Sensing PDUs

Posted by RJ Tee on Jan 17, 2018 7:25:00 AM

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Originally posted Mar 28, 2017, updated Jan 16, 2018

Just in case you didn't know, our award winning HDOT PDUs contain embedded Per Outlet Power Sensing (POPS) with device-level power monitoring, making this the most innovative product line yet.

Every data center should seriously consider using HDOT PDUs — with +/- 1 percent billable-grade accuracy — to drive efficiencies, maximize uptime and slash operating costs.

So, what makes POPS so remarkable?

Data center operators can use this feature to measure voltage, current, apparent power, active power, crest favor and power factor at the outlet level. Plus, warnings and alarms can be set up to monitor current, power, and power factor for both low and high values. This can help to reduce power faults, resulting in a safer and more effective data center.

Of course, customers who are familiar with the rest of the HDOT product line will find all of the same great features in this product. HDOT PDUs still come with full switching capabilities (for remote power toggling), alternating power distribution (for distributing power on a per-receptacle basis) and PRO2 architecture (our proprietary hardware and firmware platform offering modern security protocols, Zero Touch Provisioning, and advanced protection for ensuring system reliability and uptime.

Learn how to get the most out of your HDOT Alt-Phase PRO2 Switched POPS PDU

PDU in this white paper.

One of the great parts about this product line, it should be noted, is that it’s fully-customizable. Server Technology offers a special Build-Your-Own PDU feature, with an updated — and simplified — four step configuration process. 

Implementing POPS into the HDOT PDU product line was a true engineering feat, and it’s something that everyone should experience.

Build Your Own HDOT PDU

Topics: HDOT, Per Outlet Power Sensing, POPs, HDOT Switched POPS, BYOPDU

Server Technology and the Internet of Things: Power at the Edge

Posted by RJ Tee on Jan 16, 2018 11:12:43 AM

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By now, you are familiar with the Internet of Things, or IoT. In fact, according recent statistics, you’re also likely involved in a deployment that has brought some of the challenges associated with the bulk data collection and storage issues presented by this technology.

We are still early in the process of defining what IoT means, both collectively as an industry and individually as companies. We are also beginning to understand how it will allow us to harness the real-time data available through sensors and various collection devices. The explosion of data from IoT has resulted in a change in the way our data centers are structured, and how they support the network that collects and transmits information in now unprecedented volumes.

The biggest change from a power perspective, and one we have supported here at Server Technology, is the edge computing networks needed to make possible localized, high-volume data collection. The concept of the Internet of Things has created a very real need for a different way of computing in multiple locations instead of one. Whether the edge compute nodes are carrier-based or private, the complications are similar. The functionality of the core data center must be replicated closer to the point of data collection, albeit in a more compact and cost-effective fashion. It is this particular challenge that has led IoT organizations to turn to us to provide power to ‘the Edge’. Here is what we know.

Want to learn more? Watch our on-demand edge computing webinar here.

First, density is an issue when you look at edge computing. The server, storage, and network requirements are high and the amount of space to house them is low. Most deployments are less than 100 square feet, or confined to a 10’ x 10’ space. There are many deployments that would view this 100 square foot average as a luxury. In either case, we’ve seen equipment densities increase as a result.

Second, the increased computing density leads to higher kW/rack demands, which are quickly followed by higher plug count and amperage requirements. Rack mount power strips that incorporate Server Technology’s High Density Outlet Technology (HDOT) combat the limited physical space that edge deployments can allow by providing up to 42 separate C13 outlets in a single, 42U high rack PDU. Higher electrical loads are no issue with Server Technology’s configurable Switched and Smart power distribution options that support 400-415V inputs.

Third, edge computing demands more sophisticated monitoring solutions at the rack and PDU level. By definition, edge compute sites are not adjacent to the core data center facility. Lack of proximity means that there is an increased reliance on the ability to monitor power and cooling conditions remotely, as well as the ability to control and reboot single outlets (for an example, the per-outlet-power-sensing (POPS) line of Server Technology rack PDUs).

Try a demo of a 3-phase 230/400V POPS rack PDU today.

Server Technology, now a part of the Legrand family, is your power strategy expert, whether you are computing at the core or at the edge.

 

Topics: HDOT, Internet of Things, IoT, density, HDOT Switched, HDOT Switched POPS, Edge Computing

BYOPDU 102

Posted by RJ Tee on Dec 27, 2017 2:48:35 PM

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In our last blog post titled BYOPDU 101, we spent some time discussing the differences between five different types of rack mount PDUs manufactured by Server Technology. In this lesson, class, we are going to help you take that knowledge and build your own HDOT PDU.

Believe it or not, it is a simple four-step process to custom build a PDU tailored specifically to your needs, your load, and your management style.

Step one. With your chosen combination of features in mind (Metered, Smart, Switched, POPS), you will need to decide if you need an alternating phase power strip, or a standard unit. (Need help deciding which family of rack PDUs to build?  Our buying guide is a good place to start.)  If you were heading down the alternating phase route, you will also need to determine the number of outlets you need. The choice here is either between 24 and 42 outlets, or 48 and 54 outlets. Once you do decide which category you fall into, simply click the orange button to select the type of unit you would like.

BYOPDU configurator step one, selecting PDU typeStep One - 48-54 outlet Switched POPS PDU is selected in screenshot

 

Step two. Believe it or not, the hard part is over. The next step is to determine the power options that will define the way your rack mounted PDU will be constructed. The online tool provides options for voltage, amperage, and phase type. Simply locate the orange button that it meets your specifications, and you will quickly find yourself at the next step.

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Step Two - 240/415 Volts; 20-30 Amps; 3-Phase L-N is selected in screenshot

 

Step three. This is the part where things get pretty fun. The next step is to choose plug and outlet types for your power strip. Once you get to this stage, there is a graphic interface that shows the HDOT PDU you are building. You will use your mouse to identify the plug count, type, and configuration for the business side of the PDU. You will also use your mouse to select where the cord will enter the rack, and the type of plug required for your application. Once these selections have been made, you will see your power strip on the screen exactly as it has been configured.

Step-03.jpgStep Three - Choose outlet and plug modules

 

Step four. At this point the PDU is essentially built, albeit with a few details left. The fourth step in the tool allows you to provide information such as color, quantity, and configuration options particular to the type of unit you selected. We also provide you a link to download a spec sheet for the particular unit that you built and, of course, the ability to get pricing based on your specifications and the quantities needed.

Step-04.jpgStep Four - Select color, quantity, and view config details.

 

If for some reason you get stuck along the way, the designers at Server Technology have placed a clever “Help me choose” button at each step of the build process. Push this button to get clarification or information on the options that are presented to you.

That’s it. Class is dismissed. Before you head out the door, be sure to note the homework assignment and head to Build Your Own HDOT PDU to practice putting your knowledge to work for you and your data center.

Build Your Own HDOT PDU

Topics: HDOT, BYOPDU

BYOPDU 101

Posted by RJ Tee on Dec 20, 2017 12:01:30 PM

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Did you know that Server Technology allows, and even encourages, its customers to build their own PDUs? Now, to be clear, we are the ones who actually build the PDUs, but we do feel strongly that you should have control over that process. We let you do this through a web tool we call “Build Your Own HDOT PDU.”

The first step in building your own PDU is to figure out what you want, right?

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Well, not so fast. Since there are five product types to choose from, the first step is to decide which one best suits your needs. We’d like to take a minute to go over the options.

Metered. The most basic form of rack mount power strip, that you can configure, is what we call Metered. The Metered unit will provide information on input current via a display on the PDU. This is helpful for preventing overloads and simplifying the process of balancing three-phase loads. This is the best choice for those who want to keep it simple and are not interested in getting rack level data and control via their PDU.

Smart. If you would like to have this information delivered to you in order to make the job of managing the power strip a little easier and less manual, the next step is to look at the Smart series. Our Smart rack-mount PDUs include the features of Metered power strips, and they provide these input power measurements to you via your network or a serial connection. They can be also configured to send email alerts about different power and environmental conditions. As the name Smart implies, this is the first step toward rack-based power intelligence.

Smart POPS. If you’re the type that takes it to the next level, then Smart POPS is for you. The acronym POPS stands for “per outlet power sensing,” and Smart POPS PDUs provide accurate power monitoring at the outlet level along with all of the features that you would find in a Smart PDU. In the world of monitoring what’s going on inside your rack, this is the entry-level way to obtain outlet by outlet electrical monitoring.

Switched. Depending on your operation, it might make sense for you to have the ability to turn on, turn off, or reboot outlets either individually or as a group. If you have these types of control needs, then the Switched unit is the one for you. Switched provides the same features as a Smart POPS along with the ability to control the unit, lockout certain outlets, and control power sequencing to reduce inrush and increase your ability to shed load in a logical fashion.

Switched POPS. If you were thinking, “well, I’d love to have everything that you’ve mentioned,” then there is one last option for you to consider. All of the smart, switched, and POPS features are combined into a product we call Switched POPS. This unit combines all of the features into one feature-rich PDU. In fact, it is the most sophisticated power distribution unit on the market today.

Want to see a Switched POPS PDU in action?  View our online demo.

 

While this is a lot to think about, identifying how you engage, control, and manage your rack-level electrical loads is the best and first step in the process of building your own HDOT PDU. We will return next week with the rest of the lesson to help you get your units into production.

If you can’t wait, please visit our Build Your Own HDOT PDU tool on the Server Technology website. Roll up your sleeves, and let the PDU building begin.

 

Topics: HDOT, build your own PDU, BYOPDU

May the POPS Be with You

Posted by RJ Tee on Dec 13, 2017 12:28:27 PM

data center racks in space

Since much of the buzz this week will be about the much-anticipated release of Star Wars ‘The Last Jedi’ on Friday (or Thursday if you happen to live in the UK), we thought we would take a moment to share some of our favorite old lines.

And now, from a galaxy far, far away… (cue fanfare)

“The force is strong in this one.” Bad guy or not, Darth Vader hit the nail on the head here. While we had to wait until much later to find out why he knew what he knew, we do know now that sometimes you just have a feeling about things. The Server Tech team had that same good feeling when we started talking about ZTP, our zero-touch provisioning approach for our PDU line. (We even have a pretty nifty whitepaper...)  A way to provision all your rack mounted power strips at once, hands-free, and outside of the data center? We still have to remind people this is no Jedi mind trick.

PDU Jedi Mind Trick

 

“I find your lack of faith disturbing.” Suffice it to say, this understated line is one that you never want on the receiving end -- just ask the unfortunate Imperial officer Admiral Motti. You also don’t want to find yourself on the short end of a PDU specification for your data center. To keep you out of hot water and to loosen that nagging grip, we have developed the Build Your Own PDU tool. Faster than the Millennium Falcon’s twelve parsec Kessel run, you can specify and order a power distribution unit that will meet just about – uh – anyone’s exacting specifications.

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” This could will be the motto for our research and development department. They have developed an industry-leading number of patents for technology developed specifically for rack-mounted PDUs. All of these variations are the result of demand from the market and the willingness of our team to make that happen. We appreciate Yoda’s maxim and have tried to embody his wisdom. Our R&D team does.

“Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, farm boy.” Well, Han Solo, we could also argue that the jump to hyperscale computing is not for the faint of heart either. That being said, our high-density solutions such as HDOT have found a place in the mission-critical space, and we dare say they helped propel the move to more sophisticated computing. We are here to make sure those Star Destroyers don’t damage your hyperdrive so you, too, can make the jump like a pro. Or a washed-up smuggler.

“Judge me by my size, do you?” Yoda will go down in movie history as the ultimate ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ character, and we feel that our horizontal power distribution units could easily fall within the same category. Small but mighty, our horizontal units can also pack a punch. With more configuration options than a swamp full of womprats, they are a sometimes-forgotten (but never cloned) weapon in the arsenal of the power-distribution wars.

You see, the force is strong here at Server Technology. Like Jango Fett, we’re just a simple company trying to make its way in the universe. May the force be with you.

Click to try our PDU selection wizard

Topics: HDOT, density, ZTP, BYOPDU

Where Density, Square Meters, and Practicality Meet

Posted by RJ Tee on Aug 3, 2017 11:46:06 AM

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In this recent article on Data Center Knowledge, the author discusses the growing issue of data center real estate in Singapore and other APAC markets – or more accurately, the lack thereof.

While many countries, including portions of the United States and Northern Europe, benefit from large land masses, high-density city centers in most of the world place an absolute premium on every square meter of space.  In these areas, data center facilities are built more on the vertical axis, with support equipment stacked on roof tops and in basements.

This situation is analogous to the topography of the data center itself.

If you imagine the data center floor as a business and each hot and cold aisle its bustling streets, then each cabinet is its own version of the OCBC Centre in Singapore or the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lampur.  Space is at a premium, and the rent is steep for each server and storage device housed inside. 

So, wouldn’t you need to optimize the rack PDU in the same way?  Luckily, Server Technology has done just that.

To support high-equipment densities and the number of power cords that come with it, Server Technology has found a way to increase the number of C13 and C19 receptacles you pack into a tiny space by 20%.  Dubbed HDOT, or High Density Outlet Technology, our engineers have discovered a way to optimize the footprint of the PDU without giving up any ground.  

 

Here’s a great video that shows how it all comes together to maximize your real estate.  And it is available in bespoke configurations as well.  That’s ‘customized’ for those of you in the western hemisphere. 

Configure Your HDOT PDU

To learn more about how Server Technology can improve the density of your rack-based power distribution strategy,  click here.

Topics: HDOT, density

Don't Let Cooling Costs Burn Your Dollars - Save Money With HDOT

Posted by RJ Tee on May 17, 2017 1:05:36 PM

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Server Technology product manager Robert Faulkner knows a thing or two about data center power. With nine years at the company under his belt, Faulkner is keenly aware of the problems presented when you’re trying to walk that fine line between properly cooling your data center floor and keeping your costs low.

The problem, as he explains it, is like this:

“As temperatures rise, the life of your equipment drops. Most of your money is in servers, network gear and storage, so you want to make sure these elements have proper cooling,” Faulkner says.  (You can learn about top tools used for environmental montoring here)

Faulkner explains that with power strips residing in the back of the rack, the heat produced by servers is not always accounted for. One solution, he says, is proper cable routing.

“If you have a lot of cordage in the back, that’s a horrible situation,” he says. “The fan can’t cool the server. It’s just spinning, it’s really hot and it’s damaging your equipment.”

As a result, many data center managers assume their cooling is working efficiently, when it’s really burning up dollars by the minute.

The answer, Faulkner says, is to adopt smart rack PDU technology, such as the Alt-Phase HDOT PDU from Server Technology.

The benefits are many:

  • HDOT PDUs allow for shorter, more simplified cable runs
  • Increased airflow through the equipment
  • Intelligent rack PDUs report on current draws
  • Complete compatibility with Sentry Power Manager

Server Technology’s High Density Outlet Technology PDUs simultaneously monitor both power consumption and temperature within cabinets. Built-in alerts and reporting functions transmit data to HVAC systems, DCIM tools and key personnel. And in keeping with current trends, HDOT PDUs are built to operate at full power load in a 65 ̊C (149 ̊ F) environment, allowing you to run your data center at a warmer ambient temperature.

When combined with SPM, Server Technology’s smart rack PDUs become exponentially more powerful. SPM allows you to see in real-time what’s going on with your data center equipment. With optional temperature and humidity probes, you can maintain the proper cooling and heating mix on your floor 24/7. Customizable reports let you regularly see temperature data, allowing you even predict when equipment may be about to fail.

Learn more about  Server Technology’s alt-phase HDOT PDUs and sign up for a free 120-day Sentry Power Manager trial here.

Click Here To Build Your Own HDOT PDU  with Alt-Phase and POPS

Topics: HDOT, environmental monitoring

Three Questions to Ask About Three Phase Power Distribution

Posted by RJ Tee on Mar 10, 2017 9:30:24 AM

Across the globe, data center managers are making the move to 60A service at the rack level. Why? One big reason is because it better supports higher-density applications. As a result, three-phase power distribution is seeing a boost in popularity. Put simply, it just makes sense for data centers from economic and efficiency standpoints.

A popular choice for those looking to make the move to alternating phase power is the HDOT Switched power distribution unit from Server Technology. These rack-mount PDUs simplify time consuming processes such as cable management and load balancing. Offering up to a 30 percent footprint reduction, HDOT PDUs let you install more servers per rack and create a much more efficient flow over standard one- or two-phase power by using three-phase power distribution.

As you weigh your options for power distribution solutions, it’s crucial to ask all the right questions. In particular, you should train your focus on the issues of load balancing, its impact on power bills and related power loss.

Questions to ask when considering three-phase power distribution:

  1. Are my phases properly balanced? If all three phases aren’t correctly balanced, more heat will be generated. This leads to higher cooling costs.
  2. What’s the impact on my power bill? When loads are unbalanced, inefficiency follows, and so do skyrocketing power bills.
  3. Am I running too high of a load on my single phases? This is a risky approach and can result in tripped PDUs and upstream breakers. This leads to power loss at the rack level.

Opting for a switched rack-mount PDU from Server Technology can help alleviate the potential problems of a single- or two-phase load by distributing alternate phased power on a per-outlet basis rather than per branch. And, when you choose an HDOT unit, you’re getting the highest outlet count in the most compact form factor on the market.

As densities and power in the racks continue to grow, and as data center managers install more and more gear in the cabinets, it’s no secret power requirements are also rising. With an HDOT Switched rack PDU in your corner, you’ll not only survive, but thrive when it comes to efficiency and savings.

Topics: HDOT, Alternating phase, HDOT Switched, three phase power

Low on Real Estate, High on Rack Components?

Posted by Josh Schaap on Dec 5, 2016 8:40:22 AM

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Forget about that row of coveted window offices…the hottest real estate in your building right now can be found in the back of your data center’s racks!

Why is the back of the rack so valuable? This seemingly insignificant space can make or break your data center densification strategy.

Here’s how:

Space is very limited in the back of the rack, which makes it difficult to tinker with rack densities. After all, you can only fit so many servers into standard 42U cabinets. And space becomes even more constricted when factoring in room for cooling, power cords and bulky power distribution units (PDU).

In order to safely maximize space in the rack, you need PDUs that are not only ultra- skinny, but which are also reliable and capable of powering all of the various components in your racks.

You need High Density Outlet Technology (HDOT) PDUs from Server Technology, which can support more rack components than any other PDU per form factor.

To combat the limited physical space that PDUs compete for in the data center rack, Server Technology developed High Density Outlet Technology (HDOT), the smallest form factor PDU which significantly increases real estate in the back of the rack by fitting as many as 42 C13’s in a 42U high network managed PDU device—that’s over 20 percent smaller than a comparable PDU using standard outlets. In conjunction with the launch of HDOT, Server Technology developed a quick turn manufacturing process that provides short lead times for PDU’s with the exact combination of C19 and C13 outlets in the locations where the customer needs them. The HDOT design also provides high native cord retention of over 12 pounds pull strength, reducing or eliminating the need for custom and costly ancillary locking cord devices. With increasing outlet density comes increased power, and potentially increased heat. HDOT is manufactured with robust high-temperature materials carrying a UL94 V-0 flame rating, making these outlets ideally suited for the harshest data center environments

Here’s the great part:

HDOT PDUs can save you more than just rack space. They will also save your company money, and spare you headaches with Per Outlet Power Sensing (POPS). Our latest addition to the HDOT product line is Per Outlet Power Sensing (POPS), which provides +/-1% billable-grade accuracy for energy consumption at each outlet for typical data center equipment loads. POPS also includes current, voltage, active power, apparent power, power factor, and crest factor at each outlet. This provides the ultimate in efficiency and capacity analysis. POPS enables alarms and warning signals on current, power, and power factor for both low and high values.

 Need remote power management at the rack level? You can do that with HDOT’s Switched Outlets. With the ability to turn ON and OFF or reboot outlets individually or as a group, certain features become possible such as outlet access and lock-out, power-up outlet sequencing that reduces the likelihood of power-up inrush, and our optional smart load shedding.

Furthermore, you can put the calculator away when trying to balance a 3-phase PDU. With HDOT’s Alt-Phase Technology you can distribute phases on a per receptacle basis (rather than in discrete separate banks), providing tangible benefits in the form of shorter cable runs, resulting in better airflow, easier load balancing, and greater efficiencies. Prior to the advent of HDOT, Alternating Phase products were impractical to build due to the low outlet density inherent with discreet commercially available outlets.

Safety and reliability are another top concern when adjusting rack densities, so it’s important to watch for temperature fluctuations. Denser racks are much hotter, and can lead to fires and outages if left unmonitored. HDOT PDUs come with a UL94 V-O flame rating, making them suited for harsh data center environments. They can also sync with Server Technology’s Sentry Power Manager, which can provide real-time temperature and humidity metrics.

What’s more, HDOT PDUs are built on the PRO2 hardware and firmware platform, which helps ensure stability, performance and uptime. And their alternating phase outlets can make load balancing a breeze.

Want to learn more about how HDOT PDUs can benefit your data center? Click here!

Topics: HDOT, density, HDOT Switched

Problem? Not A Problem With HDOT Switched PDUs.

Posted by Erik Stabile on Dec 1, 2016 10:00:00 AM

If a solution doesn’t exist for your problem, we’ll innovate one, simple as that. Case in point: our High Density Outlet Technology (HDOT) PDUs didn’t exist until a client came to us looking for an innovative solution to a unique challenge.

Travis Irons, Server Technology Director of Engineering, recalls the moment the idea for HDOT came to him.

“About four years ago, one of our larger clients came to us with a quote for 40 to 50 different configurations of products,” Irons says. “Many of them were high density, with many outlets for the volume. With the conventional, off-the-shelf outlets everyone was using then, we couldn’t make it fit at first.”

The answer, Irons says, was sitting right on his desk. It was a prototype of an outlet he was using to find a cord locking solution. He realized the cord locking aspect wouldn’t help Server Technology’s client, but its high-density design was just what they needed.

“I realized this thing that had been staring at me from my desk for months was the answer,” Irons says.

By stacking the outlets and slimming down the form factor, the HDOT was born. Today, it’s one of our top sellers, and it has begun racking up awards, too.

By offering a 20 to 30 percent reduction in footprint, the HDOT PDU allows data center customers to put more servers into their racks, saving on increasingly valuable real estate costs. Using alternating phase power, HDOT creates a more efficient flow than those running one- or two-phase power. It also simplifies load balancing and cable management by creating shorter cable runs.

Check out the top 10 reasons to try our HDOT Switched units.

HDOT is available in Switched and Smart POPs to offer an extra level of monitoring for data center managers who are looking to track trends across the center floor. With HDOT in place, you can better understand and improve your power usage habits in a very short time. Another bonus: HDOT helps you spot zombie servers that consume power without providing any benefit.

In the end, Irons says the ability to innovate on the fly is a major differentiator for Server Technology.

“We can offer out of the box solutions and different technologies that just aren’t feasible for our competitors to design,” he says. “We have a small company mentality with a startup attitude and that, I think, gives us an edge.”

Click Here To Build Your Own HDOT PDU  with Alt-Phase and POPS

Topics: HDOT, data center power density, Switched

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