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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.

Click to try our PDU selection wizard

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

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

Enhance Your UPS System with Real-time Power Monitoring

Posted by RJ Tee on Sep 11, 2017 2:41:57 PM

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Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) systems have emerged as a main driver of growth in the booming data center power market — a market, it should be noted, that will continue growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6 percent until 2025, when it will reach $10.77 billion.  

As explained in a new report, UPS can now be considered the backbone of the modern data center. These systems ensure that servers and networking devices can continue to operate as normal in the event of an unplanned accident or natural disaster.

The UPS segment, it should be noted, took in the largest share of this market in 2016. This is partially due to the rising demand for data center power. And over the next several years, this market will continue to grow due to the increasing penetration of IoT technologies, and artificial intelligence (AI) systems.

Now, consider this:

If a UPS system can be considered the backbone of the modern data center, then we can liken intelligent power distribution units (PDU) to the nervous system. Intelligent PDUs can collect and report critical power metrics directly from the rack level. PDUs, in fact, are one of the most important supporting components for UPS systems because of the fact that they can provide real-time information about how servers are consuming energy — and whether they are operationally sound and efficient.

Intelligent PDUs from Server Technology can be combined with the Sentry Power Manager (SPM) platform, a web-based management console that can be used to remotely monitor energy consumption throughout all areas of the data center.

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.

View Switched POPS Online Demo Today

Topics: Remote Power Monitoring, uptime, UPS

Schools: Use Summer to Overhaul Your Data Center Power Strategy

Posted by RJ Tee on Jun 27, 2017 8:11:00 AM

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Students may have left for the summer, but for data center professionals working for school systems and universities, the work is just getting started.

Summer is a time to reflect on how the data center performed during the previous year, for identifying areas that need improvement and for making critical adjustments before September rolls back around.

One issue that must be addressed during summer planning is data center power management. After all, power is a critical foundational element in the data center. But it’s also very expensive, and risky.

Most school systems today are operating on tight budgets, and cannot afford issues like:

  • Downtime: Unplanned power surges can lead to lengthy bouts of downtime for a school, knocking servers offline and requiring lengthy repairs. This can bring network operations to a halt, impacting everything from classroom connectivity to emergency communications systems.  You can learn more about Server Technology's uptime solutions here.
  • Zombie servers: Many school systems are running idle “zombie” servers, which will remain on all summer despite the fact that they are not needed. These zombie servers must be identified and managed to prevent waste.
  • Disasters: Servers can get very hot. If left unchecked, they can overheat and catch on fire. For this reason, environmental monitoring is very important.  Need a place to start looking into the top environmental monitoring tools?  Read this.

Server Technology offers a variety of hardware and software solutions to simplify data center power management. Using Server Technology’s cutting-edge PDUs, and the Sentry Power Management (SPM) platform, data center administrators can perform real-time monitoring and maintenance, environmental control and remote power management.

Click to Learn More

Topics: SPM Sentry Power Manager, uptime, environmental monitoring, zombie servers, education

5 Reasons to use Intelligent PDUs in Edge Data Centers [WEBINAR LINK]

Posted by RJ Tee on Mar 2, 2017 8:35:00 AM

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Editor's Note:  This post was originally published, March 2, 2017

A growing number of companies are now moving their servers to the “edge” of the network for lower latency data transmissions, and reduced network operating costs. This is one of the major trends occurring in the IT space right now, and industry experts predict it will continue to accelerate in the coming years.  (You can learn more about Edge Computing in our upcoming webinar.)

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Not all businesses, however, are experiencing successful migrations to the edge of the network. Many are finding the process to be much more difficult than they anticipated.

While there are many benefits to decentralizing network infrastructure, there are also many drawbacks. The process can be expensive and risky, as edge facilities — just like traditional data centers — can consume massive amounts of electricity. And oftentimes, there is little visibility into how power is being allocated across a remote network.

Businesses that are looking to experiment with edge deployments are strongly encouraged to keep a close watch on how their remote power consumption. Intelligent power distribution units (PDU) offer advanced protection for businesses using edge deployments. More than just basic power outlets, intelligent PDUs provide a wealth of energy usage data and advanced management capabilities.

Here are five benefits to using intelligent PDUs in edge data centers:

  1. Maintain uptime: It can be very difficult maintaining uptime in an onsite data center —let alone from hundreds or thousands of miles away. Server Technology’s intelligent PDUs come with built-in fault tolerance, as well as real-time branch current measurements and multi-level alerts. Plus, their full switching capabilities enable IT managers to perform remote power management functions for rapid response troubleshooting from any location.

Intelligent PDUs, it should be noted, are essential for any facility that is looking to experiment with different power loads at the edge of the network. For instance, if you are thinking of running an edge facility at 415/240 VAC for extra computing power, you’re definitely going to want the added protection of an intelligent PDU as your facility will be at increased risk for downtime or overheating.

  1. Reduce truck rollouts: By maintaining uptime and performing remote maintenance on edge infrastructure, administrators can reduce truck rollouts — thereby saving money each year on fuel bills and truck repairs. This means more money can be pumped back into the data center instead of into fleet management. And technicians can spend less time travelling back and forth between remote locations.
  1. Go green: Just because a data center is offsite doesn’t mean it’s a separate entity. So any enterprise looking to achieve recognition for its use of green technologies in the data center will have to account for its edge facilities, too.

Intelligent PDUs can provide IT managers with real-time and historical power usage data like crest factor, apparent power, active power, voltage, load (amps) and more. 

Armed with this information, businesses can confidently market their green data centers without having to worry about being accused of “greenwashing”— or providing misinformation about carbon emissions. 

If you’re going green in the data center, make sure to back up your claim—or pay the price! 

  1. Prevent environmental disasters: Servers are very sensitive to environmental fluctuations. And the issue is even more heightened at scale, when hundreds or thousands of servers are being used in a confined space.

Intelligent PDUs— like the ones offered by Server Technology — can provide SNMP-based email alerts so that administrators can immediately spring to action when environmental conditions exceeded their allotted thresholds. For example, if a data center gets too hot, a remote switching operation can be executed to safely power down equipment and prevent a fire from breaking out.  

  1. Save money: At the end of the day, a data center and all of its assets — either remote or onsite — can be a major drain on a business’s budget. A data center can be the most resource-intensive department in a company. And with an increasing number of executives now outsourcing data center operations, it’s imperative that IT administrators find ways to slash costs and streamline efficiencies in their facilities. Intelligent PDUs can provide a wealth of power usage information, providing the ability to make critical changes when they are needed to reduce costs in the data center.

 

Server Technology offers a complete line of intelligent PDUs, ranging from basic models with High Density Outlet Technology to advanced units with embedded switching controls. Server Technology also offers the Sentry Power Manager (SPM), which is an online portal for managing intelligent PDUs. SPM makes it easy to see exactly where PDUs are located.

Webinar Details:

Delivering Resilience and Uptime at the Edge - July 20th 2017

Edge computing has quickly emerged as one of the top data center trends, and we only see this pattern accelerating as the need for high-speed connectivity increases over the next 10 years. Edge, mobile edge and fog computing are being utilised to speed content delivery, improve services and localize analytics. However, these distributed and remote locations, often with no local IT support, produce additional challenges for the data centre and IT teams as they seek to ensure a seamless, always-on application service, whatever the infrastructure and wherever the data resides.

Moderated by Prof Ian Bitterlin, Principal Consultant of Critical Facilities Consulting Ltd and Phil Alsop, Editor of Data Centre Solutions magazine, Server Technology’s Marc Cram and Wolfgang Goretzki will discuss the key challenges faced by data center managers when migrating to the edge and explain how to:

  • Maximize uptime and resilience
  • Manage power remotely
  • Reduce operating costs
  • Plan growth and capacity
  • Remotely monitor power and environmental information

Reserve Your Spot Today

Topics: uptime, intelligent PDUs, Edge Computing

The Five Biggest Costs of Data Center Downtime

Posted by Erik Stabile on Nov 14, 2016 12:46:26 PM

Data center downtime is one of the most expensive threats facing IT professionals today. The overall cost of downtime can range from thousands of dollars per minute to hundreds of thousands of dollars per hour, depending on the size and severity of the outage.

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

 

It’s for this reason that 93 percent of data centers that experience data center downtime for more than 10 days go out of business in less than a year.

But why is downtime so expensive? Here are the top five biggest expenses that can accrue when data center equipment fails:

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Loss of Revenue: When customer-facing solutions like VoIP, website and transaction servers fail, revenue can come to a screeching halt. This is particularly true for businesses that operate almost entirely online. If customers can’t complete transactions, they will be quick to seek out the services of one of your competitors.

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Loss of Employee Productivity: Downtime affects more than customers; it hampers internal productivity, too. When employees can’t access the Web, most businesses processes stop until the network is repaired.

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Tying up IT's Time: How do you want your IT department to spend its time: repairing your core network every time it fails, or implementing new cutting-edge solutions to drive revenue? Don’t pay top IT professionals to perform grunt work.

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Failed hardware: Think of the amount of money that you pay for your hardware. You want to make sure that you get a maximum return on your investment and are not losing money due to inefficiency and heavy maintenance or repair costs.

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Loss of Customer trust: By and large, customer trust is one of the biggest costs that you will have to pay for downtime. If customers learn they can’t trust your network to operate, they’ll see your business as unreliable, too.

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Maintain 5 Nines( 99.999% Uptime): Learn more about how Server Technology can provide you with data center power distribution and monitoring technology so that you can prevent downtime anytime.

 

Topics: uptime, downtime, power distribution and monitoring

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

Consistent Uptime And Other Reasons Customers Love Us

Posted by Josh Schaap on Jun 2, 2016 9:14:06 AM

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Originally Posted June 2, 2016 - Updated August 18, 2017

Survey after survey of Server Technology customers shows a clear pattern of why data center customers turn to us for their power distribution needs. The first, and clearest need centers on capacity planning, which we’ve covered extensively in previous posts and will continue to talk about as long as there are data centers. Coming in second is the need to reduce power costs, another topic we’ve focused on recently.

The third reason customers go with Server Technology is the one we’ll look more closely at today: reducing downtime in the data center. The importance of this element can’t be stressed enough. Downtime is expensive, no question about it. When we talk about uptime, we focus on the data center’s established goals for design, end user expectations and the tradeoff that comes between infrastructure costs and the effects downtime has on your bottom line.

Learn more about how your business can benefit from Server Technology's Intelligent PDUs

To an outsider, a data center may appear to be uniform, but a closer look reveals each data center is comprised of a unique set of intricate systems of interwoven hardware, switches, servers, security appliances, balancers - not to mention the multiple layers of software. To maximize uptime, you need a detailed understanding of the architecture joining the hardware and software. On top of that, you need deep knowledge of how those elements work together.

Some factors influencing uptime include:

  • Physical plant design
  • Redundancy of mains power sources, compute infrastructure, network bandwidth and storage
  • Fault tolerance in your hardware and software
  • Security of the networks, servers and avoiding being hacked.

Other significant uptime factors are detailed in the report, “Uptime is Revenue” and it’s worth a look if you haven’t read it yet.

Server Technology offers a number of solutions to help you “Stay Powered,” including the sleek and powerful PRO2 PDU line. Featuring hot-swappable, redundantly powered network cards, branch current measurements and multi-level alerts, the PRO2 also provides you with high-accuracy measurements of current, voltage, power and other key metrics. To learn more about our PRO2 line, take a virtual test spin with the PRO2 Switched Rack PDU online today to see how Server Technology can help you achieve maximum uptime, all the time.

click to view the Servertech rack PDU buying guide

Topics: uptime

One Surefire Way to Improve Uptime in 2016

Posted by Josh Schaap on Jan 19, 2016 11:22:23 AM

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There is an array of variables that affect your data center uptime—from structural design to redundancy to fault tolerance. You could say that it’s a balancing act, ensuring that every element positively influences the others so that damaging issues—like power shortages—don’t tip the scale.

With that in mind, no two data centers are the same and, therefore, require agile technology that can be customized to meet the needs of specific environments. What’s more, technology that enables you to monitor and measure power levels consistently is essential to ensuring that your data center remains stable and that burning out resources doesn’t become a threat.

But finding suitable solutions that are truly effective and cost-efficient is no easy feat. After all, implementing a multitude of disparate solutions only adds more chaos as well as fees. What you really need to ensure that you improve uptime in the most strategic way in 2016 is a robust rack-level uptime solution that combines the best features of a range of products into one all-encompassing PDU.

For example, Server Technology’s PRO2 Switched POPS CDU is one single product that provides a wide range of solutions such as the following:

  • Amperage measurements at the input, brand and outlet levels that send alerts of impending overloads via SNMP traps and email
  • Per Inlet Power Sensing and Per Outlet Power Sensing for high-accuracy billing-grade measurements of voltage, power, power factor and energy

You only need one product to keep you informed and your data center running at its highest efficiency. Learn even more about Server Technology’s robust uptime solutions by clicking here.

Topics: uptime, data center uptime

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