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Our Hot New ‘How to ZTP’ Video

Posted by RJ Tee on Dec 11, 2017 3:48:11 PM

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Do you know how to ZTP? If not, don’t worry. We have recently posted a YouTube video to show you how.

ZTP, or zero touch provisioning, is the methodology that allows you to make configuration changes to key data center services without interruption or the need to go on the data center floor itself. All configuration changes are completed online and over the ethernet cables that connect your Server Technology rack power distribution units to a core server. As an example, you may want to reconfigure settings when there are software updates, or you need to make changes to user permission profiles.

Configuration provisioning is a simple affair, as the term ‘zero touch’ implies. That said, it is not a hands-free methodology, and some human engagement is required. The ‘zero human’ update is still in research and development, and we have word that the release date for this technology is still at ‘an undetermined future date.’

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Until then, let’s discuss how to ZTP. Before you start the provisioning process, it is important to make sure that you are using Sentry Power Manager, our power monitoring software solution. Next, you will want to make sure you are using a PRO1 or PRO2 version of our PDU.

Learn about our PRO2 firmware here.

The six-step process couldn’t be simpler. This is it in a nutshell:

  • Assign a DHCP and TFTP server
  • Download the STIC configuration file
  • Determine the configuration
  • Load the configured STIC file to the TFTP
  • Configure the DHCP server options
  • Power up your PDUs and connect them to the network

Now you know how to ZTP.

Really, the benefits of Zero Touch Provisioning are many. You can update more than one PDU at a time, and reduce all the errors that can happen in a manual configuration process. There is also avoiding the monotony of keying the same data over and over, which means you have more time to play chicken with the EPO switch.

We’re kidding on that last one, really. Just want to make sure you are paying attention.

Server Technology is indeed your Zero Touch Provisioning PDU expert. Take a peek at the how-to video, or head to our website to download the ZTP white paper and technical note.

 NEW WHITE PAPER  Learn how you can save time and effort configuring  your PRO series PDU with Zero Touch Provisioning

Topics: PRO2, video, Zero Touch Provisioning, ZTP

Making Light Work of Configuring with Zero Touch Provisioning

Posted by RJ Tee on Jul 17, 2017 11:07:11 AM

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It has recently come to my attention that not all intelligent, cabinet-level power distribution units are smart.

Now, don’t get me wrong – we’ve come a long way since the days of bulky, black, power bars that were available in black or, well, black.

More modern power distribution units are chock full of features, colors, and options for voltage, monitoring, and controls that would rival the most sophisticated switchgear available.  But when it comes time to plug these sophisticated cabinet-level units into your data center’s network, eyes glaze over and thoughts wander at the prospect of manually configuring those new units.  Each. And. Every. One.

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What if this process truly could be plug and play?

Well, it can.  The engineers at Server Technology have developed the ability for new PDU’s to be provisioned uniformly and automatically.  If you use a server featuring dynamic host configuration protocol (DCHP) on your network, and store your user settings on a separate trivial file transport (TFTP) server on the same network, new Server Technology equipment will be provisioned automatically.

Now, there’s nothing trivial about that.

Using the moniker ‘Zero Touch Provisioning,’ or ZTP, any PRO1 or PRO2 Server Tech PDU can be set up in a flash.  And the same ZTP feature can be used to provide updates or configuration changes to all your power distribution units simultaneously.   Now, users of all sizes can appreciate that kind of flexibility.

There’s a great white paper with details about how it all works.

To learn more about how Server Technology can simplify the deployment of your networked PDU solution, click here.

NEW WHITE PAPER  Learn how you can save time and effort configuring  your PRO series PDU with Zero Touch Provisioning

Topics: PRO2, PRO@, Zero Touch Provisioning, ZTP

Twelve Key Features of Pro2: Part 2

Posted by Josh Schaap on Aug 17, 2016 8:53:09 AM

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Last week, we talked about six of the key features of our PRO2 PDUs, which sport the latest in innovative design from Server Technology. This week, we’ll explore six more ways the PRO2 serves as the PDU built to not only meet customers’ needs today, but to ensure flexibility for the future.

  1. Uptime: Time and again, our customers tell us they want a product that allows them to maintain their uptime. To this end, we designed the PRO2 with a hot swappable network card, shown above, letting you swap in a new card while under power. Once the new card is in, no other additional configuration changes are needed. Simply pop in the new card, you’re up and ready to go.
  1. Alerts: The new PRO2 firmware architecture allows for a lot of new features such as alerts and alarms. The PRO2 features multi-level alerts for key power information (both PIPS and POPS), and at the branch and phase levels. The benefit here is that the user gets notifications before problems get out of hand.
  1. Security: Customers also demand high levels of security from our products. The PRO2 allows for secure firmware uploads while performing validity checks on the firmware as it’s being uploaded. We’ve also provided the unique function of letting customers use their own certificates and keys.
  1. User-friendliness: PRO2 features a new graphical interface, making it much easier to use. Now, customers can see valuable power information at a glance.
  1. File system ease of use: Our file system is unique in that it allows for the easy uploading of firmware, while the PRO2 can store files such as an onboard MIB.
  1. Key performance indicators: The data our users obtain from PIPS and POPs come in the form of a report that can be exported via CSV file. This file contains valuable information, including Min/Max/Average details. With this report in hand, you can ultimately manage the efficiency of your data center better.

Coupled with our award-winning Sentry Power Manager software, the PRO2 PDU is the perfect data center power solution for those looking for expandability and flexibility. Demo one online today.

Topics: data center power, uptime, PRO2, data center uptime

It’s Time to Declare War on Data Center Power Inefficiency

Posted by Erik Stabile on Jul 25, 2016 1:44:46 PM

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Your data center is suffering from severe power inefficiency, with electricity bills costing your business thousands of dollars every month.

As a result of your exorbitant power bills, your data center is consistently over budget. As a result, your business is pumping too much money into the data center, and not enough into areas that are critical for organizational growth, like product development and customer acquisition.

For this reason, it’s imperative that you get a handle on your data center’s power consumption before management decides to slash your budget or, worse, outsource operations to a hosted provider.

It’s time to declare war on power waste in your data center. And the target in this war will be your cabinets, where as much as 60 percent of all energy in the data center is consumed.

Now, it may be tempting to start making changes in your data center environment on your own, by adjusting cabinet densities without any supporting technologies.

Take our advice, and avoid doing this at all costs.

Without a reliable power management solution, altering cabinet densities can be very risky. You will be in grave danger of overloading your circuits, and increasing temperatures in the back of your cabinets. This could, in turn, damage your equipment and even start a fire.

If you want to win the war against power waste, here is the ultimate weapon: Server Technology’s advanced PDU power management platform, PRO2. PRO2 is a line of switched PDUs—available for either single- or three-phase power distribution—that was specifically designed to help enterprises manage heavy data center workloads.

PRO2 provides the real-time and historical data required to understand how your data center is using electricity, as well as the tools that are required for taking action and improving efficiencies.

Here is a look at how PRO2 can help your business streamline power management:

Advanced monitoring and alerts: All PRO2 outlets come with per inlet power sensing (PIPS), for directly monitoring inlets/infeeds. Three-phase PRO2 units can also be used for per-outlet power sensing POPs, for monitoring the outlet or device. What’s more, PRO2 units enable monitoring for individual branches and phases. Should a circuit breaker or fuse trip while PRO2 is being used, an alert can be sent via SNMP or email so that action can be taken. This is where PRO2’s switched feature comes in handy, too; managers can toggle power on and off as needed, to save time and restore service quickly.

Critical environmental monitoring: With its built-in temperature and humidity probes, PRO2 solutions collect environmental temperature and humidity data external to a cabinet’s devices. This information is important for a number of reasons. It will let you know how much cooling is required, which can possibly lead to reduced cooling costs. Plus, keeping equipment at the right temperature prolongs its lifespan and improves its operational effectiveness. You will also be able to reduce downtime from accidents related to overheating. It should also be noted that PRO2 was specifically designed to perform in high density/high temperature environments.

Easier capacity planning: PRO2 will let you know how much power your cabinets require. It will also let you know how much power you have available. By using PRO2, it’s possible to determine whether it’s safe to install new equipment into your data center, without causing an outage. Use PRO2 to guide new purchases and installations.

More uptime: One of the greatest benefits of PRO2 is the redundancy that it affords. As a standalone product, PRO2 offers the highest level of density for its form factor on the market. Additionally, you can link PRO2 units together. It’s possible to link one master unit with up to three linked units; and doing so will only require using one IP address. This setup can even be split between two cabinets. The benefit to linking—aside from greater cost savings and added flexibility—is that if one unit fails, the others continue running. As a result, power will not be lost in the cabinet.

Here is a list of PRO2 products to choose from:

  • Single-phase PIPs switched 200-240v, up to 32A
  • Single-phase PIPs + POPs switched 200-240v, up to 32A
  • Three-phase PIPs switched 208v, 30A
  • Three-phase PIPs switched 415v, 32 A
  • Three-phase PIPs + POPs switched 208v, 30A
  • Three-phase PIPs + POPS switched 415v, 32A

Want to learn more about Server Technology’s PRO2 solutions? Check out our white paper.

Topics: switched PDUs, PRO2

In The Spotlight: Server Technology’s PRO2 Platform

Posted by Erik Stabile on Jun 21, 2016 3:59:02 PM

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PRO2 Hot Swap Network Card

If you haven’t met PRO2 yet, it’s time for an introduction. As Server Technology’s newest platform for CDU products, PRO2 is designed with real world power situations in mind, meeting a whole host of power needs for a new generation of data centers.

Some highlights of our PRO2 line of PDUs:

  • Shallower form factor: The new PRO2 sports a 2.18” x 2.25” design as opposed to 1.75” x 3.5” on the older models. 
  • More outlets: PRO2 has a 25 percent higher vertical density for outlets on Switched products.
  • More power under the hood: The PRO2 not only features improved processing capabilities, but more memory to support new features.
  • Monitoring: Monitor both branch current and input current.
  • Remote power management: PRO2 features secure remote management with the ability to reboot individual or grouped outlets including SSL, SSH, Telnet, SNMP and RS-232.
  • Network card power redundancy: Connect a PRO2 expansion unit to the Link1 port and your network connection is maintained even if the master loses power.
  • Expansion: You can add additional outlets under a single IP address through the link unit.

During the design process, the PRO2 was put through its paces with more rigorous testing and validation procedures than previous generations. Server Technology’s engineers designed the new PRO2 PDUs with locking cables for internal communication as well as low-voltage busses, which are built to knock out high-vibration connection loss. As a result, data center customers have even more choices when it comes to an already best-in-class product.

Learn more about the features of our PRO2 PDUs and demo one online today.

Topics: capacity planning, PRO2, rack PDU

Do You Really Understand Your Power Usage?

Posted by Erik Stabile on Mar 11, 2016 11:45:14 AM

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There’s a memorable scene in “All the President’s Men” when the FBI informant famously whispers, “Follow the Money” to Robert Redford, setting him off on an investigation that will change the world. It’s a phrase that’s been repeated time and again over the years and, yes, it even applies to data center management.

When you follow the money, you’re familiarizing yourself with the sources of your data center costs, allowing you to identify high-cost items and gain better control of your expenses. You probably already understand that power and cooling are your high-ticket items. When trying to increase efficiency, the typical response is to operate at higher temperatures or use free cooling to cut costs, but these aren’t always the best solutions. Without the right monitoring tools in place, you’ll never meet your goals.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when measuring power is to overlook it at the cabinet level, as this is where nearly half of your power can be traced. Server Technology’s Intelligent PRO2 CDUs provide power monitoring at various levels beyond the cabinet proper. This will not only help you better understand your power infrastructure, but it’ll show you several ways to increase efficiency and provide for uptime.

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Figure 1. Power Monitoring Using PRO2 CDUs PIPS, POPS, and Branch Current Monitoring

Get details and best practices for better monitoring your power consumption and reducing costs in this white paper, “Advances in Power and Environmental Monitoring for Increasing Efficiency in the Data Center.” You’ll learn about: 

  • Infeed monitoring with Per Inlet Power Sensing (PIPS)
  • Branch current monitoring
  • Outlet/device monitoring with Per Outlet Power Sensing (POPS)
  • Monitoring at the cabinet level
  • Monitoring at the zone level
  • Monitoring at the location level
  • The effects of increasing temperature
  • Other steps to increase efficiency 

Read the white paper to learn more today.

Topics: Server Technology, PRO2, data center power usage

Your All-In-1 PDU Solution - HDOT Switched

Posted by Erik Stabile on Mar 10, 2015 12:49:36 PM

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Introducing the High Density Outlet Technology (HDOT) Switched PDU, your All-in-1 PDU Solution. The HDOT Switched PDU is the most versatile solution for today’s demanding data center environment, which combines Server Technology’s best solutions in an All-in-1 PDU,  it includes

  • HDOT- most outlets in the right place in a smaller form factor
  • Alternating Phase Outlets- provides easy load balancing, better airflow and greater efficiencies
  • PRO2 a flexible and feature rich hardware and firmware platform.

See the press release to learn more or new Solution Video.  

Topics: HDOT, PDUs, Alternating phase, PRO2, New Products, HDOT Switched, Products

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