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On the Benefits of Alternating Phase

Posted by RJ Tee on Oct 10, 2017 1:40:56 PM


Lately, we’ve been extolling the virtues of single phase 60A power distribution to the rack.  But there are still may situations in which a three phase deployment is required to power the needs of racks that consume 12kW or more.  In other words, situations that begin with ‘high’ and end with ‘density.’

The tricky part of three phase power is the accompanying balancing act.

We don’t mean from a financial or breaker panel standpoint, or even being able to walk a tightrope.  Just the simple chore of making sure the phases are equally loaded.  That’s easy enough to say about monolithic deployments of IT gear, but much tougher in real-world applications with multiple device types all cozied up in 42U of space.

To be sure, the issue of equally loaded phases is not just a matter of additional heat load or power inefficiency.  Poorly balanced circuits can overheat and breakers can trip.  And ‘trip’ is not a word we like to hear in the mission-critical world.

Now, here is where it gets interesting.

Server Technology takes a unique approach to the placement of the outlets on the power strip with a method called ‘Alternating Phase.’  Traditional PDUs have the X, Y, and Z phases grouped together:  X,X,X; Y,Y,Y; Z,Z,Z.  In an Alternating Phase configuration, those phases are grouped X,Y,Z; X,Y,Z; X,Y,Z.  Plugging into a different phase is then a matter of inches, not a long power cord run to the bottom of the rack.  To get a visual, take a look at our Technical Note to see pictures of the resulting differences between the two methodologies.

Certainly Alternating Phase outlets are more difficult to wire inside the PDU itself, right?  Server Technology has tackled that problem in a unique way.  Instead of using wiring, we keep the form factor of the PDU small by distributing power via a multi-layer circuit board to each of the phases.  Our patented approach also solves two other potential issues:  heat gain within the rack PDU, and the potential for human error during the manufacturing process.

Don’t take it from me.  Look for yourself at our HDOT Alternating Phase Flyer, or venture over to our Online PDU Building Tool to generate your own unique alternating phase rack PDU.  For help getting started, look at all the available PDU features from Server Technology.

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Topics: 3 Phase power, three phase, load balancing, three phase power

Don’t Have A Cow About Load Balancing, Man

Posted by Erik Stabile on Sep 30, 2015 11:22:28 AM

AltPhase as easy as 1-2-3.

Look at you. You’ve been behind your cabinets all day, trying to balance your servers’ power loads. You’re drenched in sweat. Your back hurts. You’ve been through half a pot of coffee. And now you have a headache on top of it.

We feel your pain. Manual power load balancing just isn’t an easy process. It’s complex, delicate and time consuming as it requires determining exactly where to place each cable in order to prevent your circuits from overloading. Further, there are additional factors like environmental issues to worry about. And if you make just one mistake, you risk throwing your entire setup out of balance, potentially leading to a costly power outage.

Isn’t there an easier way to go about this? There is.

Download the Alternating Phase White Paper!

Server Technology can simplify the load balancing process with its Alternating Phase PDUs, which distribute power on a per receptacle basis —as opposed to a per branch. Server Technology’s Alternating Phase PDUs come with color-coded outlets, for easy setup, and automated power distribution throughout each receptacle. This means you won’t have to manually configure each path.

In addition to reducing stress and saving you time, this technology can also reduce operating costs in your data center, too. Alternating Phase PDUs eliminates power loss, as it reduces waste during each cycle and pumps power back into your system instead of into the ground.

So don’t delay any longer! Make life easier by investing in Alternating Phase PDUs from Server Technology today. 

Topics: load balancing

Load Balancing Made Simple

Posted by Erik Stabile on Jan 30, 2015 11:39:08 AM


Whether you’re deploying fully populated or partially filled racks, keeping loads balanced is important from both a power and networking perspective. But getting loads balanced can be difficult. You could try to plug in the same number of devices per branch, but that assumes all equipment is pulling the same load. Or you could install the equipment; power up your PDU and pull up branch load information; then go unplug equipment, find the right length of power cord, and re-plug in the equipment to rebalance the loads.

Continue Reading in Processor Magazine

Topics: data center power, uptime, load balancing

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