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Make Better Power Management Decisions - Use SPM and Switched PDUs

Posted by RJ Tee on Mar 24, 2017 11:45:45 AM

John F. Kennedy once said that leadership and learning are indispensible to each other. In other words, if you want to be a good leader you need access to knowledge that will help you make informed decisions.

This quote applies directly to you, as an IT administrator who is responsible for ensuring that your servers remain up and running, and operationally efficient. After all, you can’t expect to make accurate power management decisions if you’re relying on guesswork and intuition. You need cold, hard data.

Here’s some good news:

Server Technology has the resources that you need to start making more informed data center power management choices. The two products that can help the most are Server Technology’s Sentry Power Manager (SPM)— a real-time, Web-based power management console — and switched power distribution units (PDU).

SPM is unique in that it allows for real-time visibility right down to the cabinet — and even device — levels. Armed with this intelligence, it’s possible to identify the areas where your servers are hogging the most resources. You can also set up SNMP alerts with SPM, for instant notification when servers exceed their allotted thresholds. Environmental thresholds can be established, too, so that corrective action can be taken if temperature or humidity levels spike or plummet.

One of the coolest parts about SPM is that you can use it to safely scale your power usage. For example, once you understand how certain cabinets are using power, you can then expand your operation to monitor individual “zones,” or groups , of cabinets. SPM will let you accurately predict the available resources for each zone, so that you’ll be aware of how much wriggle room you have when adding more cabinets.

Of course, using SPM you can scale even higher and understand your power usage metrics at an individual location. For instance, you may want to turn up more cabinets in a key data center located at the edge of the network. Using SPM, you will be able to see how much capacity you have in your remote infrastructure, and whether it’s a good idea to make the upgrade—or whether you need to invest in more system resources first. This data can help you avoid running into a capacity pinch.

This is particularly useful for startup operations, which are often forced to scale rapidly.

Oh, and as for our Switched PDUs? They will not only collect real-time intelligence, but they also make it possible to perform remote power toggling functions.

So it’s time to stop guessing about your data center’s power usage, and start taking a different approach —one built around real-time intelligence.

To learn more about Server Technology’s approach to data center power management, click here.  


Need better insights into your data center?  Try Sentry Power Manager for a 120-Day Free Trial!

 

Topics: SPM Sentry Power Manager, SPM, Switched PDU

Experience the Most Game Changing PDU to Date

Posted by RJ Tee on Mar 13, 2017 11:16:22 AM

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Stop and think about how much your data center has changed over the last several years. It seems like just yesterday you were tinkering with massive, UNIX-based servers that used around 18 W of power. Today your servers may be physically smaller, but they pack a much bigger punch with some exceeding 80 W.

These smaller servers can be stacked much more efficiently into your cabinets, meaning your cabinets are in all likelihood much denser than they were in the past. What’s more, they are playing a much greater role in your business’s daily operations. In the past, they provided ancillary services to your business. Today, if something happened to your data center or its servers your organization would come to a grinding halt.

And yet, you are still supporting this critical infrastructure with the same types of power strips that you used back in the 1990s!

This means your business is at increased risk for downtime — especially if you are experimenting with different power settings.  

What’s more, you currently have little to no visibility into how your data center is using power at the cabinet level — meaning you could be wasting a large amount of money on a daily basis without even realizing it. Traditional power strips do not contain any built-in technologies for recording or reporting power metrics.

It’s time to replace these outdated power strips as soon as possible, and make the switch to a new line of intelligent power distribution units that contain the necessary features for supporting a modern data center.

Server Technology offers the most game changing family of Switched PDUs on the market, enabling:

Remote switching: Server Technology’s Switched PDUs will allow you to toggle cabinet power on and off from a remote location, meaning you don’t have to be physically present in your facility to make critical changes. For this reason, they are ideal for use in edge data centers or colocation facilities.

Real-time environmental monitoring: Switched PDUs also contain embedded environmental sensors for collecting and transmitting temperature and humidity levels. With this feature, all of your team members can receive alerts when your equipment exceeds its allotted environmental thresholds.

Web access: These products can be used in conjunction with Server Technology’s Sentry Power Manager (SPM), a secure Web interface for data center power monitoring and management functions. SPM is a user-friendly portal.

Server Technology’s Switched PDUs are American-made and Trade Agreements Act (TAA) compliant, meaning they are safe for use in government-owned data centers. Server Technology’s products have been used by many different government owned entities, as well as businesses across all vertical markets.

Most products can be shipped within three to 10 business days.

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

Topics: Switched PDU, Switched, Switched POPS

Federal Data Centers: Use Switched POPS PDUs To Slash Power Costs

Posted by RJ Tee on Jan 27, 2017 9:32:50 AM

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While the private sector is experiencing unprecedented data center growth, the exact opposite is happening in the public sector. Even though the federal government is using just as much data and technology as any other entity, the marching order for federal data center operators is reduce, reduce, reduce.

Over the last several years, the U.S. government — led by the White House and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) — have cracked down significantly on federal data center spending. Under the Data Center Optimization Initiative, and the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI), federal agencies must actively strive to close extraneous data center facilities. At least 52 percent must go by the end of 2018. And facilities that do remain in operation must reduce costs, and support eco-friendly practices. 

“The Data Center Optimization Initiative, released [Aug. 1st, 2016], continues and builds upon the progress of FDDCI and ensures robust implementation of the data center provisions of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA),” stated federal Chief Information Officer Tony Scott in a blog post. “The initiative requires agencies to implement strategies to consolidate inefficient infrastructure, optimize existing facilities, improve security posture, achieve cost savings, and transition to more efficient infrastructure, such as cloud services and interagency shared services.”

Now, everyone is wondering whether this plan will continue under the Trump administration. As of right now, it’s unclear how the president elect’s administration will handle federal IT spending, but so far there is no indication that these initiatives will be repealed — especially under Republican control where spending is liable to be limited. So the pressure is still on for federal data center operators to press forward and continue optimizing throughout 2017. In many ways, this is a critical year.

On one hand, it’s hard to argue against the initiative from a managerial perspective. In fact, it’s been quite successful. Since the launch of the FDCCI, federal agencies have closed 1,900 data centers, and reduced the total real estate footprint for federal data centers by 1.2 million square feet — resulting in a total cost savings of nearly $1 billion.

On the other hand, it’s creating some problems — particularly for agencies who need their data centers, and for employees who need their jobs.

Your main priority right now as a federal IT administrator should be to get a handle on your monthly data center spend, so that you can keep your facility up and running. If you fail to do so, it could mean the end of your department —and you and your colleagues could either be re-assigned, or put out of work. What’s more, your agency’s data center may either be outsourced or consolidated which will directly impact daily operations.

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Server Technology to the Rescue

Here’s how Server Technology can help: 

Server Technology offers intelligent Per Outlet Power Sensing (POPS) Switched PDUs, that can be instrumental in your efforts to streamline data center power management — which is traditionally one of the most problematic data center expenses. Server Technology’s Switched POPS PDUs offer highly-accurate, outlet-level power monitoring for unparalleled visibility and control over rack-level power consumption. With this product, you can stop guessing and start making decisions based on hard metrics. 

That’s’ because Switched POPS PDUs will allow you to see exactly how much power you are using at the rack level in real-time, by providing a detailed glimpse into metrics such as voltage, active power, apparent power, crest factor, power factor and power consumption (measured in W-hours). And their embedded switching function makes it possible to perform remote power management tasks anyplace you have web access. This line of intelligent PDUs also comes with optional temperature and humidity probes for advanced environmental monitoring. With this feature, you can consolidate workloads and increase rack densities safely and efficiently. Switched POPS PDUs come with SNMP trap email alerts, for automated warnings about real-time environmental conditions in your data center.

Server Technology: Working For America’s Biggest Government Agencies 
Rest assured, your agency won’t be the only department working with Server Technology. Server Technology, based out of Reno, Nevada, provides rack power distribution units for a variety of government customers including: 
• Air Force 
• Coast Guard 
• NAVY
• ARMY 
• Department of Energy 
• NASA 
• National Institutes of Health

Server Technology’s PDUs are manufactured in TAA-compliant locations. And since they are produced and stocked here in the U.S.A., they are able to ship faster – meaning you can count on Server Technology for speedy and reliable deliveries.

So don’t wait to take action. For more information about how your data center can leverage Switched POPS PDUs, call 703-295-2059 or email govsales@servertech.com.

 

Learn More About Our Government Solutions

Topics: power costs, government data center, Switched PDU, POPs, HDOT Switched POPS

Top Reasons to Use Switched PDUs in Your Data Center

Posted by Josh Schaap on Jul 1, 2016 10:35:08 AM

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It’s not easy trying to decide which type of power distribution unit (PDU) to purchase for your data center. As we explained in a recent article, the decision ultimately comes down to your data center’s unique needs. Your risk factor (are you mission critical?), budget, location and preferences will all play a big part in determining what type of PDU you should be using.

In this article, let’s zero in on the switched PDU, which is basically a smart PDU that will also let you perform remote switching—or power toggling—functions on your outlets. Investing in a switched PDU means centralizing the management functions of your PDU.

Here are the top reasons why you should consider using switched PDU in your data center:

  1. You need more than just metrics: You want a power outlet that can do more than just collect data; you also want one that will let you take action. A switched PDU will allow you to perform management functions on your connected outlets, right from a central location. This is ideal for performing reboots, and even sequenced power-ups. A switched PDU can be accessed using a Web interface.
  2. You are managing multiple data centers: You don’t have one facility to manage. You have two or more, spread out across the country or even the world. As a result, performing maintenance on your infrastructure can be anything but routine. It may require you, or someone else, to travel to another facility to make physical changes. Or, it may require trusting someone else to perform changes, which could be risky. Using a switched PDU, you can stay in control of your equipment from any location.
  3. Power loss is draining your budget: Your business doesn’t have the luxury of a bottomless IT budget. As a result, you need to cut down on the equipment you are using on a weekly basis. With a switched PDU, you can set automated scheduling so that core networking hardware only kicks in during select hours. After business hours, for instance, unnecessary equipment can be remotely turned off until the following business day. This can drastically reduce your power loads, and even prolong the life of your equipment.  
  4. Downtime would sink your operation: Another luxury that your business lacks is time to recover after an outage. Your operation is mission critical, so it’s vital to ensure that when a device enters your data center, it won’t cause any catastrophic issues that could lead to downtime. Using a switched PDU, you can turn off select outlets to prevent someone from accidentally using them.  
  5. Your data center is overrun by zombies: You have an alarming number of “zombie” servers in your data center, which run idly in the background and steadily drain your budget. Right now, there is no telling how many you are running. A switched PDU allows you to quickly identify the overall power draw for each device, and enable you to decommission them by simply shutting them off. It will save time and money.
  6. Your data center is growing:  Your facility appears to have plenty of capacity now, but several months from now, there’s no telling what your network will look like. As a network operations manager, it’s critical to have a clear understanding of each cabinet’s recent usage history, its real-time status and an idea of its projected condition several months down the road. Equipped with this information, you will be able to confidently purchase and install new equipment without having to fear the repercussions.
  7. Your business is in a risky area: Businesses located in areas prone to natural disasters like flooding, wildfire, tornados/hurricanes and heavy snowfall need to be able to power down equipment quickly to avoid data loss from unexpected disasters. A switched PDU can expedite the process by enabling speedy backup activation and system power-downs. This can also be done from a safe distance, too, eliminating the need to be onsite and in harm’s way.

Ultimately, you get all of the visibility that you would get from a smart device plus added control when working with a switched PDU. Your data center will become more flexible, more efficient and more cost-effective. It will also enable faster growing, with less risk.

Want to learn more about how switched PDU can help your data center?

Learn how to take full advantage of Switched PDU technology in our latest white  paper!

 

Topics: Switched PDU

Nobody Builds A PDU Better Than Our Customers

Posted by Erik Stabile on Jun 14, 2016 3:02:27 PM

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Build Your Own PDU, step 1 (choose Smart or Switched), step 5 (select outlet type), step 7 (choosing color quantity and quote)

“If you build it, they will come.”

Many people think they recall this line from Kevin Costner’s 1989 baseball film “Field of Dreams,” but the actual line is, “If you build it, he will come,” referring to the main character’s late father, John Kinsella. Semantics aside, the line holds a powerful message: when you set out to create something of your own – something built for your needs and no one else’s – it’s likely others will find value in it, as well.

So it is with Server Technology’s line of Smart and Switched PDUs, which have served our data center clients well over the years. Server Technology smart PDUs are IP addressable, while featuring remote power and monitoring and environmental monitoring. The switched PDUs include remote outlet switching, remote power monitoring, environmental monitoring and are also IP addressable.

Your selections aren’t limited to our out-of-the-box options, however. In fact, one of the better-known features we offer is the ability to “build-your-own” HDOT PDU. In six easy steps, you can customize your PDU right down to the color for easy identification in your data center.

To get started, head over to our Build Your Own PDU and tell us what you want. It’s not only a snap to build a PDU, but it’s also kind of fun. Build Your Own PDU is a graphic-based tool that shows you in real-time what your PDU will look like so there are no surprises. A zoom view lets you get up close and personal with your PDU.

Start by telling us whether you’re looking for a Smart or Switched unit, then select from several one-phase, three-phase or three-phase alternating voltage choices. From there, you’ll select your power input plug type, power orientation, number of outlets, connectivity (Ethernet and serial or meter-only) and – the really fun part – your color options.

There’s no obligation to purchase the PDU you’ve designed. Simply hit “Request a Quote” for a quick and easy quote from one of our power strategy experts. You’re also given the option to download a custom spec sheet so you can share your creation with other stakeholders. 

Give it a shot. Start building your own custom PDU today.

Topics: build your own PDU, Switched PDU, smart PDU