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Protect Your Data Center for the Busy Holiday Shopping Rush

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

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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.

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

Five Reasons to be Thankful for Intelligent Data Center PDUs

Posted by RJ Tee on Nov 21, 2017 10:15:11 AM

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One tool that every data center administrator can be thankful for this year is intelligent power distribution units (PDUs). Recent advancements in the data center PDU market have drastically improved the way that power is managed at the rack level. Over the last few years, intelligent PDUs have gone from a disruptive new technology to a staple tool — and something that every data center should be using to streamline efficiencies.

So in the spirit of Turkey Day, here are five reasons to be thankful for intelligent PDUs.

Intelligent PDUs…

1. Help control costs:

Data centers are notoriously expensive. But oftentimes, it has little to do with the cost of power more to do with the fact that data center administrators have little to no idea how power is being distributed around the data center. Intelligent PDUs allow administrators to see exactly where power is being allocated in the data center.

2. Improve sustainability:

Many organizations today are “going green” in some form or another. But many are failing to address their heavy data center power footprints. Data centers can consume enormous amounts of energy. By measuring power at the rack level with an intelligent PDU, data center administrators can better understand how servers are consuming resources — and take active measures to eliminate waste.

Read how you can benefit with the top environmental monitoring tools.

3. Streamline reporting:

In the past, the majority of data center reporting was done using either pencil and paper-based systems, or spreadsheets. Both of these systems were prone to fraud and abuse. Intelligent PDUs can connect to Web-based monitoring and management systems, which can collect data, organize it into reports and export these reports to team members via email.

4. Identify zombie servers:

Data centers often have hundreds or even thousands of “zombie” servers, or idle machines that suck up power. The problem is that it’s not easy to tell which machines are active, and which ones are zombies. Intelligent PDUs can provide immediate insight, allowing administrators to shut down inactive machines and prevent waste.

5. Improve uptime:

Ultimately, there is one word that every administrator fears: Downtime. Intelligent PDUs come with advanced power alerts and also environmental monitoring—something that is critical for data centers located in areas that are subject to extreme weather shifts. Using intelligent PDUs, administrators can gain better visibility into how their systems are performing.

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Topics: intelligent power strip, uptime, green data center, intelligent PDUs, smart, zombie servers, Switched PDU, smart PDU, Switched

Every Data Center Needs Real-time Reporting

Posted by RJ Tee on Nov 14, 2017 11:14:29 AM

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Over the last few years, something has been happening in the business world: Communications have been speeding up at an aggressive pace.

Now, we are living a real-time world where processes that used to take hours or days can now happen almost instantaneously.

This is true across all levels of the enterprise, ranging from marketing to sales to design. And it’s happening in the data center, too. In fact, the data center is now leading the drive for real-time communications.

In the past, for instance, data center administrators were at a major disadvantage while trying to drive power-related efficiencies. Most data center reporting was done manually, in spreadsheets. It took a long time to request and generate reports, and it was hard to share these reports with team members. What’s more, these reports were often riddled with errors.

Human error, it should be noted, is one of the causes of data center downtime.

Now, the data center power monitoring process can be fully-automated with the help of intelligent, IP connected power distribution units (PDUs). By providing real-time power monitoring at the rack level, data center administrators can gain instant access to power usage metrics and then use the information to make improvements that can boost uptime and reduce operating costs.

Server Technology provides a wide array of customizable data center power management solutions including the advanced Sentry Power Manager (SPM) platform. To learn more about how Server Technology can provide your data center with real-time monitoring and reporting technologies, click here.

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Topics: intelligent power strip, environmental monitoring, intelligent PDUs, real time monitoring

Is Your UPS System Ready for Winter?

Posted by RJ Tee on Nov 13, 2017 2:37:34 PM

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According to the latest Farmer’s Almanac, much of the U.S. is in store for a cold, wet winter that will stretch well into March. At least five major storms expected to hit the eastern seaboard.

In just a few short weeks — when the snow starts falling — we will learn which businesses are prepared for winter, and which are not. Businesses that take the time to plan ahead and invest in disaster recovery and business continuity will have a major competitive advantage.

One thing you will want to pay attention to as you winterize your data center is the operability of your uninterruptable power supply (UPS) system. According to a recent study, UPS system failure is now the leading cause of data center downtime.  In fact, UPS system failure now accounts for one quarter of all data center outages.

Remember: When the power goes out, there can’t be any question as to whether or not your UPS system will turn on.  Server Technology can provide you with that peace of mind.


The other leading causes of data center downtime are cybercrime/ DDoS; accidental/ human error; water, heat or CRAC failure; generator failure; and IT equipment failure.

What’s more, 35 percent of organizations lost at least one mission critical application following an outage, while 24.3 percent lost multiple mission critical applications. 18.8 percent lost most or all of their data center functions. And 12.1 percent lost data that could not be recovered.

One way to reduce downtime in your data center is to invest in real-time power monitoring at the rack level. Using Server Technology’s intelligent power distribution units and Sentry Power Manager platform, you can gain advanced insight into the functionality of all of your data center infrastructure.

To learn more how Server Technology can help your business, click here.

Click To Learn More About Server Technology's  Switched Rack PDU Solutions

Topics: intelligent power strip, Sentry Power Manager, uptime, intelligent PDUs, UPS, Switched PDU, smart PDU

Use Data Center PDUs to Reach Your Corporate Social Responsibility Goals

Posted by RJ Tee on Nov 10, 2017 10:39:14 AM

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It’s important to realize that data centers — which are notorious energy hogs — need to be front and center in a CSR strategy. It’s impossible to build an effective and honest CSR strategy without reigning in and controlling your data center’s power output.

So, how do you control your data center’s power output? The easiest, and most effective way, is to invest in tools that provide real-time power monitoring and environmental reporting at the rack level.

Click here to view the top tools Server Technology recommends for environmental monitoring.

Before you can make any real changes that will make your data center eco-friendly, you need to first understand exactly how your facility is consuming electricity on a daily basis. Without this information, you will essentially be relying on guesswork — and this could lead to more harm than good.

knowing is half the battle

 

Server Technology provides a variety of intelligent data center power distribution units (PDUs), including the option to build your own modular high density solution. In fact, Server Technology offers the most outlets in a 42U intelligent rack PDU with industry-standard C19 and C13 outlets.

Sever Technology also offers the Sentry Power Manger (SPM) solution, for Web-based management and streamlined reporting.

For more information about how Server Technology can help your organization achieve its CSR goals with its intelligent PDUs and power management solutions, click here.

 

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Topics: intelligent power strip, Sentry Power Manager, green data center, intelligent PDUs, corporate social responsibility

Who Put the ‘i’ in PDU?

Posted by RJ Tee on Nov 6, 2017 8:17:24 AM

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As I was sitting around the other day and casting about for a topic for this blog post, my colleagues jokingly suggested that we talk about this trend of putting an ‘i’ in front of everything. You know, how an intelligent PDU can be called iPDU or even IP-PDU, the now-normal branding standard of our modern age, the world of iEverything. 

The ‘i’ in the first iMac stood for Internet, not necessarily intelligent. At the time, the idea of an internet-based personal computer was quite revolutionary. The ‘i’ moniker also brings to mind another intelligent ’i’ product, introduced by German sports car company BMW and infamously known as the iDrive. While it originally stood for intelligent, the ‘i’ quickly became known to stand for ‘infuriating.’

My favorite ‘i’ is in the title of the collection of short stories called by Isaac Asimov called I, Robot. In this instance, the ‘i’ can both stand for intelligent and for the first person personal pronoun. In other words the ‘I’ that means ‘me.’ This is the most personal of the uses of ‘i,’ and it is an interesting play on words since there is no personal ‘I’ in a machine. That’s because a machine does not possess a personality or even a soul.

Well, most of them...

So what out of all of this talk about iPDUs – or even better yet, IP-PDUs? This is me trying to swim back to the shallow end of the pool.

I must say that I think all the different meanings of ‘i’ apply in the case of intelligent power distribution units. As the name itself implies, the modern power strip possesses a lot of smarts. By this I mean it can provide volumes of physical data and other environmental information, as well as give you the ability to control its function remotely through it's own IP address, hence, the IP-PDU designation I'm suggesting.

But like the first knob shifter introduced by BMW, intelligent power strips (IP-strips?  Maybe I've gone too far...), or IP-PDU’s  , can also be infuriating. Their smarts come with a provisioning learning curve that makes it tricky for some to put the machine into drive. But with zero touch provisioning, much of this IP-based task has become automated.

And as for the existential question posed by the ‘i’ in I, Robot, I will leave that to you to decide. Do you have conversations with your rack PDUs? And when you speak to them, do they answer back? Don’t you sometimes feel like you have formed a relationship, one that has been very rewarding?

Server Technology was the first to automate configuration and provisioning of their Intelligent PRO Series PDUs via Zero Touch Provisioning, and can therefore occasionally wax philosophical about rack PDUs. For a more serious treatment of the subject, please see our Zero Touch Provisioning whitepaper, or head to our website to see all our intelligent PDUs.

 Learn More About  Server Technology's Intelligent PDUs

Topics: intelligent power strip, power strip, intelligent PDUs, Switched PDU, smart PDU

Environmental Monitoring: Mission Critical Monitoring, or Mission Impossible?

Posted by RJ Tee on Oct 23, 2017 6:45:00 AM

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Data center environmental monitoring is nothing new.  Systems such as the first Sensaphones have been around for decades, dialing out on POTS lines to report on space, power, and cooling.  But don’t get me wrong – we’ve come a long way, baby.

Haven’t we?

As our friends at the Green Grid have correctly noted, you cannot improve what you are not measuring.  It is safe to say that, up until now, we have never had access to the volume of information we can capture now, nor could we process it into useful and actionable data.  But one thing has not changed, and that is the fact that we still rely on probes and sensors to capture all those little kernels of information.

What if I told you that Server Technology, known around the globe as the power strategy expert, with its team of electrical engineers and their trophy wall of industry patents, is really a data center environmental monitoring firm in disguise?  Or that a typical rack PDU is an advanced monitoring solution with a little power distribution thrown in to keep up the ruse?

Yeah, I’ll accept ‘crazy’ as your answer, but hear me out, Ethan Hunt.

What’s more, did you notice that we are capturing information at the source, from the source? 

Since our rack PDUs speak BACnet and Modbus, you can report the information back to the DCIM package of your choice.  The information gathered can provide instant feedback on environmental conditions, as well as the numbers you need to evaluate your PUE, cooling efficiency, power utilization, capacity planning, and more.

Not bad for a rack PDU. 

Click here for more information about Server Technology’s mission, or check out our full field report on Advances in Power and Environmental Monitoring.  Or stand watch with the Sentry Power Manger.

Click to try our PDU selection wizard

Topics: Sentry Power Manager, environmental monitoring, DCIM, intelligent PDUs

Location Is Only Half the Battle When Building a New Data Center

Posted by RJ Tee on Jul 5, 2017 2:19:57 PM

Just recently, Network World ran an interesting article explaining how Ireland is the best place to set up a data center in Europe.

The author pointed out how strong connectivity, affordable taxes and active government support make Ireland a premium destination for businesses seeking colocation and interconnection services.  

On a side note, you can learn more about how your colocation service can benefit from Server Technology's solutions here.

This got me thinking…

Sure, it’s important to consider all of these factors when building a new data center, or moving your facility to a new area.

But they are all irrelevant if you don’t take care of your own backend maintenance.

Who cares, in other words, if you open a facility in rural Ireland or in the middle of the desert if you’re wasting boatloads of money every day due to wasteful data center practices? You may save some money on something like tax benefits, but you could easily lose it due to waste.

Businesses can benefit from pro-data center markets like Ireland only when all backend systems and processes are fully tracked and optimized. You can’t expect to capitalize on favorable market conditions until you streamline your own network services.  

Server Technology offers essential data center power management technologies that can help with this process. Using Server Technology’s intelligent power distribution units (PDUs) and the Sentry Power Manager (SPM) platform, it’s possible to easily identify and eliminate power drain and start putting your energy to better use.

To learn more about how Server Technology can help your data center improve its operational efficiencies, click here

 

Topics: Affordable Data Center Locations, Sentry Power Manager, data center locations, intelligent PDUs

Smart Cities Need Fog Computing with Intelligent Power

Posted by Marc Cram on Apr 26, 2017 11:02:06 AM

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Mainframes and Moore’s law led to personal computers.  Client-server applications became possible with the first local area networks. Cellular radio systems and Wi-Fi, along with Moore’s law (again) combined with improved battery technology have made laptops, tablets, cell phones, and augmented reality headsets key drivers of internet activity today. Tomorrow’s applications will be more widespread, and possibly less visible. Think smart cities, where the lamp posts and the sidewalks work together to guide you to your destination so you don’t have to watch your progress on a map application on your phone. The solar powered talking trash bin on the corner can call a driverless Lyft for you. Need to make a phone call? Put your hand on the glass of the bus stop shelter and you can have a video call for a few micro-cents.

These distributed “fog” applications need local compute support, and that requires reliable electrical sources to power them along with remote management tools to monitor and report issues to the appropriate companies and agencies.

Are you tasked with enabling these projects?

Would you use this infrastructure if it was available?

I’d like your vision and feedback on this. Drop me a line at marc.cram@servertech.com or @mcram01 on twitter.

Learn More About What We Can Do For Your Edge Computing Application

Topics: intelligent PDUs, smart, fog computing

Migrating to the Cloud? You Still Need Intelligent PDUs

Posted by RJ Tee on Mar 17, 2017 11:28:24 AM

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We see this problem time and again with cloud computing: First, a business will partner with a hosted cloud provider offering affordable access to premium infrastructure; then, the business will migrate its workloads and wait for the cost savings to roll in.

Oftentimes, though, the cost savings never materialize. In fact, it's very common for a business to spend more money on cloud services in the long run than it would on legacy network expenses.  

Here’s why:

Cloud providers typically sell bare metal infrastructure at scale, but not much more than that. Unless a business opts to layer managed services on top of its cloud infrastructure, it will still be responsible for maintenance and upkeep, and for keeping operating costs at a manageable level. Cloud providers, in other words, are not there to hold your hand; they only provide servers. Countless organizations have learned this the hard way.

One responsibility that tends to go overlooked during cloud migrations is power management. Many IT departments today are still using archaic power outlets in their data centers and cloud environments that do not have IP connectivity. These units are highly prone to power faults, and lack real-time reporting components. As such, they are often the root cause of high costs and unexpected outages.

Instead of using traditional power outlets, IT administrators are encouraged to use intelligent power distribution units (PDUs) containing embedded solutions for recording and reporting power usage metrics, and for evenly distributing power across the cabinet. Intelligent PDUs are necessary for supporting today’s heavy workloads and advanced computing processes.

Here are some reasons to use intelligent PDUs with cloud servers:  

Perform rapid-response troubleshooting: Server Technology’s intelligent PDUs come with full switching capabilities, meaning it’s possible to use them to toggle power on and off from any remote location. This saves time, and eliminates the need to travel or rely on remote crews when performing system maintenance. This feature can be easily managed in Server Technology’s Sentry Power Management (SPM) platform — a secure and user-friendly Web-based management console.

Manage environmental settings: The servers you are using today are resilient, meaning it’s possible to experiment with different environmental settings in order to maximize performance and efficiencies. Still, you’ll want to be very careful when raising or lowering data center temperatures. Using intelligent PDUs from Server Technology, you will gain access to real-time environmental data and alerts. If a cabinet surpasses its environmental threshold, an SNMP alert can be triggered so that immediate action can be taken.

Obtain accurate metrics: All power usage data can be easily tracked, stored and exported into reports using intelligent PDUs and the SPM platform. By analyzing accurate power usage information at the cabinet level, it can help to save money in the data center.

 

Learn More About  Server Technology's Intelligent PDUs

Topics: intelligent PDUs

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