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The Advantages of an Uncluttered Rack, Part I

Posted by RJ Tee on Feb 15, 2018 2:52:00 PM


Alternating phase power distribution technology from Server Tech is one of my favorite subjects. It has benefits that extend well beyond the electrical distribution world. In fact, it is one of the few power products whose secondary benefits meet and sometimes exceed the fundamental purpose of a three-phase distribution product. I discussed it in a previous post.

Server Tech’s Alternating Phase PDUs may well set the new standard for the phrase, “the gift that keeps on giving.”


Every data center, from the humble corporate server room to the latest and greatest hyperscale offering nestled on an ice shelf in Greenland, is tasked with minimizing risk by balancing the demands of space, power, and cooling. While we at Server Technology tend to focus on the power leg of that three-legged stool through our rack PDU products, it is with the cooling leg that an Alt-Phase PDU really stands out.

How can an in-rack PDU take on such a weighty role and then address risk?

In most data center environments, cooling is a challenge with origins inside the rack. One source of the problem is imbalanced loads. As equipment is added to the rack, either on day one or after it has been installed, it could be powered from a branch that is already loaded. As these loads become more imbalanced, additional heat load is created by the IT equipment. Not only does this decrease your efficiency, but it compounds cooling demands by artificially inflating the heat load of the rack.

Another common issue is related and exacerbates the original one. I’m talking about excess cabling at the back of the rack. As if managing the communications wiring were not headache enough, add to the mix the thick power cables whose plugs need to be routed to different elevations of the rack in order to find an open receptacle. With Server Technology’s Alt Phase PDU, that open receptacle is now adjacent to the IT gear, which means far shorter power cables traveling an even shorter distance to find a home. This means no more woven mesh of power cables to act as a curtain trapping the heat being rejected at the back of the server equipment.

It’s like a breath of fresh air for your equipment.

Now we arrive at the issue of risk management. As the power and communications cabling gets more entangled, it becomes more difficult to complete move, add and change work within the rack. This makes the task of documentation more difficult, and it also makes it more likely that removing equipment will become a risky activity. Keeping cabling close to the source device takes the guesswork out of removing the old and installing the new.

For more information our Alternating Phase products, take a look at our Alt-Phase White Paper Executive Summary, or head over to the PDU Buying Guide. At Server Technology, we are your Alternating Phase power experts.

click to build your own alternating phase HDOt PDU

Topics: cooling, Alternating phase, heat, load balancing, Data Center Density, alt-phase

Putting Your Excess Data Center Heat to Use

Posted by Eric Giacomini on Jan 26, 2015 9:48:50 AM



Your servers generate a ton of heat over the course of a single day. So, why not take this excess heat and pump it back into your office building during cold winter months? It’s a great way to save money and reduce waste at the same time. 

Think about it: A typical server running at 400 watts will generate almost 1,400 British thermal unit (Btu) per hour. A standard 20-by-20 room with a 10-foot ceiling only needs about 35,000 Btu per hour to maintain a 72 degree temperature. Since a large enterprise will run several thousand servers at a given time, it will generate more than enough energy to keep an entire building heated for an extended duration.

In fact, as Amazon is proving, it could be enough energy to heat a whole skyscraper.

Amazon is in the process of constructing a system that will take waste heat from one of its data centers and transfer it to the company’s nearby high-rise office building. The project is expected to save Amazon about three-quarters of the electricity that it would have otherwise had to purchase to heat the facility. Additionally, by removing the heat from its main data center, Amazon will reduce the amount of water and air needed to keep its infrastructure cool.

If you’re thinking of implementing this strategy in your facility, don’t move forward without a reliable environmental monitoring solution that will give you real-time information about the temperature in your data center. After all, when transferring large amounts of heat, it’s critical that you maintain a close watch on your equipment to ensure safe temperature levels.

Click here for more information about how Server Technology can help you put your company’s excess heat to good use.

Topics: data center power, environmental monitoring, Server Technology, heat, Amazon

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