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On the Subject of Electrical Inequality

Posted by RJ Tee on Aug 18, 2017 3:35:34 PM


I must admit I have been thinking a lot about quality lately.

Our data center industry, at its core, is about power correction, conditioning, and quality.  The ability of a mission-critical electrical system to deliver the proper sine wave to the server is a multi-billion-dollar industry. 

(My apologies in advance to the mechanical minded for such unilateral statements.)

But as I ponder that fact, I can’t help but wonder why there's a tendency to buy only the best switchgear and generators, and pinch pennies when it comes to rack PDU’s?

Here are a few thoughts on the paradox of such logic:

You don’t plug a server into a generator.  Indeed, this practice has never existed.  And the truth is that the first encounter your IT equipment has with the electrical system is not with any of the big ticket electrical items such as UPS or generator, but with the lowly power distribution unit in the back of the rack.


This powertrain doesn’t have a caboose.  Don’t worry, the average rack PDU doesn’t get offended.  But it would like to remind you of its critical position in the powertrain.  In a mission-critical one-line, there is no portion of the infrastructure that is less important than another.  In data centers, the powertrain is all engines – if any portion fails, the entire enterprise comes to a standstill on the tracks.     

Read the Uptime is Revenue Industry Brief Today

Your budget afterthought.  In most data center projects, the electrical build is the largest single line item in the budget.  And within that budget, the choice of rack PDU usually accounts for 2-3% of the overall spend.  That’s all.  So doesn’t it make sense to buy the absolute best rack PDU’s for your IT equipment, and spend your time and effort scrutinizing the largest components?  Keep in mind that fractional savings on switchgear, for example, would more than pay for the highest quality rack PDU available.   

For more ideas about how to improve the quality of your rack PDU’s, you can check out the entire Server Technology product line here.

click to view the Servertech rack PDU buying guide

Topics: data center power, rack PDU

Picking the Right Rack Mount PDU For Your Data Center

Posted by RJ Tee on Apr 12, 2017 10:40:19 AM


Originally Posted April 12, 2017, Updated August 16, 2017

Decisions, decisions. We often stress over relatively easy decisions more than we reasonably should. One decision that shouldn’t be all that difficult – once you’re armed with the proper knowledge – revolves around which type of rack mount PDU you’ll need to help power your data center for the foreseeable future.

When picking a rack mount PDU for your data center, pinpointing your exact needs before shopping will save you a lot of time and energy in the long run. Perhaps density is your primary concern. Or maybe uptime is on the top of your checklist, along with capacity planning. That’s where Server Technology comes in. We offer smart, switched and other intelligent rack PDU options ranging from ready-made units with super-fast shipping to PDUs precisely customized to meet your every need.

Let’s explore some of those options here. 

Build Your Own

It’s the ultimate in customization. Server Technology’s Build Your Own PDU tool starts with a blank canvas and lets you paint in your power needs – everything from rack mount PDU type to power options, number and types of plugs/outlets and even unit color. Begin by selecting from metered, smart or switched units and construct your own PDU from there. Once you’ve built your virtual PDU, you’ll see it on the screen along with a datasheet and quote for your units. If your needs are very exacting, this is the place to begin. Start building your own rack PDU here.

Fast Movers

Designed to minimize the time between order and delivery, our line of Fast Movers represents some of the most popular PDU configurations based on customer feedback. These rack PDUs can be quickly assembled and shipped, usually within three to five days of your order, meaning reliable power is only days away when you need it in a hurry. This is perfect for those considering a move to a colocation. Often, in a colo setup, your SLA begins the minute you sign the contract, so it’s imperative to move quickly on your power needs. Each of our Fast Movers is fully compatible with our award-winning  Sentry Power Manager software for remote monitoring and management from anywhere in the world.

Smart and Switched Family

Maybe your needs are somewhere in between a fully customized rack PDU and our Fast Movers. For that, check out Server Technology’s Product Selector, which gives you the best of both worlds – quite a few customization options along with some of the fastest shipping in the industry. Here, you’ll find everything from basic to metered, smart and switched PDUs with POPS and PIPS options. These units provide options including individual outlet control, temperature and humidity monitoring, input current monitoring, branch circuit protection and more.

Whatever your needs, Server Technology’s commitment to our customers translates into some of the most dependable, powerful rack mount PDUs on the market. Start shopping PDUs today.  

click to view the Servertech rack PDU buying guide

Topics: rack PDU

The One, The Only: HDOT With POPS

Posted by Josh Schaap on Dec 22, 2016 9:17:40 AM


What do you get when you take the flexibility of Server Technology’s High Density Outlet Technology and combine it with Per Outlet Power Sensing? A pretty amazing product, says Vimal Bhakta, Senior Engineering Manager for Server Technology.

“It’s great,” he says with a smile.

If you haven’t already, take a second to watch Vimal share the good news about HDOT POPS PDUs in our new video:

In the video, Vimal runs down the key benefits of adding POPS technology to our award-winning HDOT alt-phase rack PDUs. He discusses how data centers can use this winning combo to find solutions for density, capacity planning and remote management.

HDOT’s alternating phase power is designed for three rack power configurations, and with each configuration, there are four product types to choose from, depending on the level of control you need:

Thanks to its modular design, each HDOT product type gives customers the flexibility to configure the location and quantity of C13 and C19 outlets on the PDU. As a result, there are literally thousands on thousands of configurations possible. To get a sense of how customizable our PDUs really are, check out our Build Your Own PDU tool which walks you through four easy steps to building the perfect power solution for your data center. It’s so remarkably easy that you can even build a PDU right from your tablet or phone.

So, why HDOT? The short answer is that it provides 20 percent more outlet real estate than conventional outlet-based PDUs. We’re able to achieve this by removing unneeded material around the outlet and group them as close together as physically possible.

HDOT PDUs also feature high native power cord retention and alternating phase power for cable management and load balancing. Ultimately, this helps customers operate at the highest efficiency possible.

Available in Smart and Switched POPS, these PDUs provide +/- 1 percent energy consumption accuracy at each outlet for typical data center equipment loads. As a bonus, it’ll also help you identify abnormal rack equipment power behavior such as zombie servers on the data center floor.  

In the end, HDOT is the most reliable and adaptable customer power solution for data center rack equipment, Vimal says.

“HDOT is a true game-changer out in the PDU market,” he says. “Customers love it … I love it … Only with Server Technology will you Stay Powered, Be Supported and Get Ahead.”

Topics: data center power, intelligent PDUs, rack PDU

What Rack PDU is Right for You?

Posted by Erik Stabile on Sep 6, 2016 12:24:26 PM

Are you starting a data center project but not sure which PDU is right for your data center? Start here and we'll guide you through Server Technology's PDU families. 


At Server Technology, we understand that power needs vary from customer to customer. Some data centers require all-in-one power solutions complete with all the available bells and whistles, while others have more basic needs. But one thing that doesn’t vary is the desire for a best-in-class high quality power product. Another thing that’s for certain is that Server Technology’s award-winning power solutions provide just that.

Sales Engineer Amanda Senger says Server Technology’s large selection of PDUs is a major differentiator among its competitors.

“We’re really good at one thing: PDUs,” Senger says. “We have over 2,000 different part numbers, where our competitors only have 100-200, so we have a lot more flexibility we can offer our customers.”

With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to become overwhelmed when deciding which power solution is right for your data center. With this in mind, we’ve created a handy PDU selection flow chart that addresses all levels of power needs – from basic, non-metered PDUs to Switched POPS with outlet-level power monitoring.

It’s helpful to first understand that Server Technology offers four main families of PDUs, each offering a unique set of capabilities: Basic, Metered, Smart and Switched. To determine which is best for your data center ask the following questions:

  1. Do you need current displays? If not, then one of our Basic PDUs with power in and power out is probably sufficient for your needs. If you do need current displays with local LEDs on the PDU, you should consider a product from our Metered family.
  1. Do you need network monitoring? If you need an LED but don’t want networking capabilities, many products within the Metered family will do the trick. If, however, you want network monitoring, our Smart family of PDUs is a good bet. These are well suited for companies performing remote monitoring as well as those with thousands of strips on the data center floor.
  1. What about individual outlet control? This is a big factor for remote users, allowing them to remotely turn the PDU on and off without having to go on site to unplug and plug back in individual power strips. If you seek individual outlet control but don’t need outlet-level power monitoring, you can stick with any of our Smart PDUs, but if you want to monitor each outlet, then the Smart POPS (Per Outlet Power Sensing) PDUs are right up your alley. These units provide very detailed information, letting you know what’s wrong – or what’s about to go wrong.
  1. For those who want current displays, network monitoring, individual outlet control but not outlet-level power monitoring, the Server Technology Switched family is also worth a look. If, however, you need all of the above, plus outlet-level power monitoring, the All-In-One Switched POPs PDU is probably right for your data center. POPS units are perfect for customers who don’t yet understand how much power they’re using, and can work in any size data center.

Ultimately, Senger says, there’s a solution for everyone with Server Technology’s PDU lineup.

“Whether your needs are basic or complex, we offer a solution for you,” she says. “Even if you don’t need power monitoring, you’re probably still going to want a high outlet count in a high-quality PDU.”

Want to learn more about our families of PDUs? Visit our Products page or get in touch with your Power Strategy Experts to get started today.

Topics: data center power, rack PDU

Need TAA-Compliant Rack Power Distribution Solutions? We’ve Got You Covered

Posted by Erik Stabile on Aug 1, 2016 4:14:34 PM


Procuring certain types of hardware for federally-affiliated data centers—like power monitoring systems—often requires IT managers to consider factors beyond cost and performance. In some cases, they must also ensure that the equipment is in compliance with federal regulations. Otherwise, it could result in significant penalties.

One important agreement that you need to honor is the Federal Trade Agreements Act (TAA). But what is the TAA, and why is it important?

 The TAA: Protecting International Trade

The TAA, enacted in 1979, outlines official trade regulations between the U.S. and other nations. Its purpose is to ensure a fair and open world trading system.

This document explains where you can source certain types of data center equipment. Not all products in your federal data center must be TAA-compliant; compliance will depend on the conditions of your federal contract. TAA regulations primarily impact Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts and General Services Administration (GSA) contracts.

You can see the list of TAA-designated countries here.

The Challenge of Procuring TAA-compliant Solutions

Unfortunately, there are many important manufacturing hotspots that are not TAA-compliant. China, for instance, is excluded from on the list despite being the world’s largest manufacturing economy and the source of many data center technologies. Other notable exclusions are the Philippines, India, Brazil and Vietnam.

This can add significant complications to the product procurement process. It can be very difficult to find a product that meets your cost and performance requirements, but does not meet TAA requirements.

It’s very important, though, that your business and your supply chain partners abide by the rules outlined in the TAA. In the event of an audit, noncompliance could result in massive fines from the federal government, lost contracts and suspensions from working with federal organizations.

The solution

Here at Server Technology, a leading global provider of data center power distribution and monitoring solutions, we offer an extensive list of TAA-compliant products for consolidating and monitoring data center equipment—particularly products in the smart and switched product families.   

We are able to provide TAA-compliant data center power solutions because we manufacture and assemble our parts in strategic TAA-certified locations. Aside from producing and assembling products domestically, Server Technology also operates in countries like Korea and Mexico.

By producing and assembling products in these locations, we can offer flexible and affordable product procurements for customers. If a product is requested that is not manufactured in one of these countries, the parts can be moved there to ensure regulatory compliance as well as speedy deliveries and installations.

Server Technology also offers comprehensive documentation for all TAA-compliant products. Rest assured, if your business is audited at any time you will be provided with the necessary materials for proving that your business is using TAA-grade equipment. We keep running records for all orders and will supply them when needed.

Some of the government organizations we have worked with include the Coast Guard, Air Force, Department of Energy, NASA, NAVY, ARMY and National Institutes of Health.

So whether you are looking for specific products that must be TAA-compliant, or you have a TAA quota that you must meet, you can rely on Server Technology for fast and easy access to power monitoring and management solutions.

For more information, contact the Server Technology sales team at 703-295-2059.


Topics: Data Center, power strip, rack power pdus, rack PDU, TAA Compliance

In The Spotlight: Server Technology’s PRO2 Platform

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

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

Want To Support High-Density Applications? Try Three Phase Power Distribution.

Posted by Josh Schaap on Apr 8, 2016 11:08:39 AM


Sometimes, the road less traveled proves to be the better route. That’s certainly the case with a less common, new approach to PDU design that employs three-phase power distribution. In the past, this has meant dividing power into several branches within the rack PDU, but this new approach from Server Technology makes use of alternating each phase on a per-receptacle basis instead of per branch. As you can imagine, demand for more power in the cabinet is behind the move toward three-phase power distribution in many data centers. If the search for more power is on your mind, alternating phase PDUs might be the answer to your problems.

When an installer is installing new equipment in a computer rack, he often only thinks of powering up the equipment. The principles of three-phase power are not generally at the top of mind during the install process. However, it’s crucial for installers to understand load balancing for several reasons:

  1. If the three phases aren’t properly balanced, heat is generated, which jacks up cooling costs.
  2. An unbalanced load can result in inefficiency and higher power bills.
  3. Higher loads on single phases can translate to higher risks with tripping PDUs and upstream breakers, thereby causing power loss at the rack level.

The best practice is to install rack mounted equipment, allowing you to draw a similar current on each branch. This, of course, is in a perfect world where the rack is only filled with a single type of device. In most data centers, mixed devices are the reality, causing a tangle of power cables in the back of the rack, which can inhibit airflow, adding to heat problems.

These and other issues are easily resolved by using alternating phase PDUs, which are specially designed to alternate phased power on a per-outlet basis instead of per-branch. When you use an alternating phase PDU, power wiring gets a lot simpler because power cords no longer need to be stretched across the vertical PDU to reach the separate branches. This allows you to use shorter power cords, resulting in a cleaner back of the rack. These cords also result in lessened cable resistance and lowered power dissipation. Assembling the rack also gets quite a bit easier with a reduction in assembly time. Important to note: shorter cords simply result in less mass, meaning they’re less likely to come unplugged during rack transport.

Other reasons to choose alternating phase PDUs:

  • Installers can plug in servers from the bottom to the top of the rack with lowered risk of blowing breakers.
  • Server Technology’s patent pending alternating phase power distribution use multi-layered circuit boards instead of wires to separate the phases.
  • Alternating phase PDUs help reduce heat build-up.

As many data centers move to 60A service at the rack level to support high-density applications, three-phase power distribution solutions such as these are becoming more and more common. Learn more about our all-in-one PDU solutions and get more details on traditional vs. three-phase power distribution techniques in the white paper “Alternating Phase Power Distribution at the Data Center Rack PDU” today.

Topics: data center power, rack PDU, three phase power

100 Percent Data Center Uptime from Day One

Posted by Erik Stabile on Jan 14, 2016 8:00:00 AM


You already know that increased uptime means a greater ROI, but can you ever achieve 100 percent uptime from the get-go? You can, indeed, as our work with ScaleMatrix shows.

ScaleMatrix seeks to set itself apart from the pack of cloud/colocation providers in the marketplace. The San Diego-based company provides a variety of hosting platforms and services to help companies connect workloads across development, production and disaster recovery environments. When ScaleMatrix set out to create a new type of multi-tenant data center, its team chose Server Technology to assist with its most pressing issues.

The company needed:

  • Reliable rack power distribution
  • Constant visibility to all available power data
  • The most accurate and reliable PDUs

On top of that, ScaleMatrix needed guaranteed 100 percent data center uptime from day one. No problem, we said.

ScaleMatrix’s project called for Server Technology’s Sentry Power Manager for power monitoring and management and the Sentry Switched 24- & 48-Outlet Rack PDUs, which are custom designed for ScaleMatrix custom racks.

 “In a facility like this, there are so many moving parts, like PDUs, and they just need to work,” said ScaleMatrix CSMO and Co-Founder Chris Orlando. “It needs to be flawless.”

And flawless it was.

With the SPM and Sentry Switched PDUs in place, ScaleMatrix has been able to provide zero downtime to clients in its San Diego and Houston facilities for the past three years running. Using the Sentry Power Manager, ScaleMatrix provides customers with a single screen dashboard that allows them to drill down into their gear and to the PDU level in real time, Orlando said. 

The SPM has also given ScaleMatrix’s clients useful data such as real-time power monitoring, predictive trend analysis, PDU management as well as security monitoring and reporting.

Orlando also praised Server Technology’s Power Strategy Experts for quick responsiveness and a proactive approach to the partnership.

“They’ve allowed us to reach new heights,” he said. “It’s allowed us to minimize overhead from a cost and management standpoint by providing a better value and product offering for our customers with more features and more flexibility.”

Click here to read the complete case study!

Topics: Server Technology, data center downtime, data center uptime, rack PDU

Batten Down the Hatches! Here Comes the First Waterborne Data Center

Posted by Josh Schaap on Nov 23, 2015 8:53:30 AM

What do Captain Ahab and network administrators have in common? Well, soon enough, they’ll both be responsible for maintaining ocean-bound vessels. Indeed, a startup called Nautilus Data Technologies is creating the first-ever waterborne data center, or more accurately ‘data barge.’

The creators of the data barge are hoping that it will serve as an efficient and eco-friendly solution to today’s data center power consumption challenges. In fact, the nautical data center will be cooled by the water in which it floats and is projected to engender a power usage effectiveness rating of 1.045, which is quite near its initial goal of 1. As such, the data barge may very well serve as an innovative answer to improving energy efficiency in the data center, however, its unconventional architecture comes with inherent risks.

Just consider that millions of dollars of valuable technology will be left floating in unpredictable ocean waters. That’s enough to make any network administrator a bit sea-sick. Without being able to continuously monitor the servers, the data barge could easily become comprised in an emergency situation. For instance, consider the consequences of the data barge suddenly losing power; all promises of maintaining uptime would simply jump ship.

To avoid devastating scenarios in your data center, whether it resides on land or sails the ocean blue, you ought to consider implementing the following solutions:

  • Fail-Safe power redundancy so you never have to worry about losing power and comprising uptime
  • Capacity planning solution such as Sentry Power Manager (SPM) to measure and monitor power efficiency at all times
  • Data center rack power management solution to ensure highest level of visibility on the rack level

Click here to learn about more types data center solutions that can help you steer clear of choppy waters.

Topics: Capacity planning solution, rack PDU, Fail-Safe power redundancy

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