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Stay Powered Blog

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:

lostrevenue
via giphy.com

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.

working
via giphy.com

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.

fixedit
via giphy.com

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.

serverfail
via giphy.com

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.

trustfail
via giphy.com

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.

MarcsLogos-04-04-03

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.

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

 

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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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.

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.

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

Three Data Center Power Resolutions to Follow Through With In 2016

Posted by Josh Schaap on Dec 30, 2015 11:32:19 AM

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Let’s be real: Is there anyone out there who actually follows through with their New Year’s resolutions?

There’s no shame in admitting you’re one of those resolution quitters, who will be reaching for a bag of Reese’s come February 1. All too often, we strive to reach our goals by the end of January only to fall back into our old ways by the start of February.

This practice is forgivable in our personal lives, but when you’re a network administrator who has enterprise connectivity and environmental sustainability to consider, reaching your New Year’s goals is critical to your data center’s efficiency.

This year, don’t strain yourself trying to build Rome in one day, rather, work steadily all year long to achieve these highly attainable goals:

  1. Improve uptime: It’s no secret that downtime is a network administrator’s biggest fear. But, unfortunately, without power efficient technology it’s a damaging reality that many face. In order to steer clear of a nightmare come true resolve to implement cabinet infrastructure that affords more redundancy, outlets, customization and resiliency built in.
  2. Improve cost efficiency: There are numerous ways to be more cost efficient in the new year, starting with upgrading your legacy power monitoring technology for an advanced All-in-1 PDU. This robust technology enables network administrators to monitor and measure power usage. What’s more, it affords capacity planning and density solutions so that you can be kept abreast of all aspects of your data center efficiency at all times. This allows you to save on energy costs by being able to monitor and adjust power intake as well as avoid costs associated with downtime.
  3. Reduce carbon footprint: With advanced power monitoring solutions network administrators can stay up-to-date with the energy intake of their data centers. In doing so, they can understand power usage effectiveness and make accommodations as needed in order to remain sustainable and efficient. After all, poor power management can cause negative impacts on the environment.

So, we won’t judge you if you health kick fizzles out in a matter of weeks, but when it comes to running a sustainable, cost efficient data center, your goals must be met. So stick to them!

Download the Free SPM Demo!*

Topics: uptime, capacity planning, carbon footprint

Five Major Costs of Data Center Downtime

Posted by Erik Stabile on Sep 25, 2015 9:58:12 AM

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.

Learn how to maintain 99.999% Uptime!

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:

lostrevenue
via giphy.com

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.

working
via giphy.com

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.

fixedit
via giphy.com

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.

serverfail
via giphy.com

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.

trustfail
via giphy.com

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.

MarcsLogos-04-04-03

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.

Realated blog post: 
3 Reasons your data center is loosing money

 

Topics: uptime, downtime, data center downtime

How Would Data Center Power Fare If It Faced An Unplanned Power Outage?

Posted by Josh Schaap on Aug 21, 2015 2:31:59 PM

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Google recently learned the hard way about what can happen when Mother Nature strikes near your data center.

Their facility was impacted when a series of four lighting strikes hit the power grid which connects to its Belgium-based data center. The strike caused the building to experience unexpected power loss, thus causing its backup power supply to kick in.

The good news for Google was that most of its data survived the outage thanks to the backup power supply. There were, however, some complications pertaining to data that was being stored on devices that had experienced heavy battery drain. Some data was therefore not able to be recovered.

It’s an important reminder that even if your facility is equipped with a generator capable of powering your facility in the event of an outage, issues such as low battery life could cause irreversible damage.

So don’t take this risk!

Instead, invest in a data center power distribution and monitoring system which will ensure that all devices connected to your network are fully charged and fully operational. With a solution like Server Technology’s all-in-one data center power monitoring software, you will be able to keep a close watch on devices that are being over-used and are in danger of experiencing power failure.

Further, using the metrics supplied by the power monitoring system you will have the necessary data to justify potentially costly, but necessary, upgrades. With the data gleaned from your network, there will be no disputing the importance of spending money to maintain network uptime.

Click here to get started with an all-in-one data center power monitoring solution today. 

Topics: uptime, data center uptime, data center power outage

Avoid Embarrassing Power Mishaps In Your Data Center

Posted by Erik Stabile on May 13, 2015 3:48:39 PM

 giphy-4Stop and think about all of the critical processes that run through your data center. From enterprise communications like VoIP and email to the WiFi that powers your business’s network, your data center is responsible for facilitating a great deal of important critical tasks.

There’s one thing that all of these central processes rely on, and that’s electricity. When a power distribution unit (PDU) overloads or a server fails due to a power shortage, employees across your enterprise won’t know why it happened. They will just experience sudden downtime, as well as frustration, and will demand to know when the solution will be back up and running again. Subsequent IT support tickets will follow, and your IT department will be labeled the bad guys and will be forced to take responsibility.

That’s because as a data center manager, it’s your job to monitor your facility and ensure that your system is running at an optimal level. While a power outage may not always cost your business millions of dollars in downtime, it’s enough to have upper management asking questions about how reliable your facility is.

Therefore, the best thing that you can do is to invest in a power distribution and monitoring system that can keep close tabs on how your network is operating. With this type of solution, you can spot problems before they occur and work to mitigate power-related problems from causing frustration in your enterprise.

Server Technology’s advanced line of data center power monitoring solutions have the ability to protect your facility, and alert you about possible issues that could lead to downtime. You can learn more about Server Technology’s advanced All-In-1 PDU solution to assist in data center monitoring. 

Read the Converged Computing Industy Brief

Topics: data center power, uptime, converged computing

Washington Power Outage Should Be a Wakeup Call for Businesses

Posted by Erik Stabile on Apr 16, 2015 8:57:00 AM

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On April 6, the unthinkable happened in Washington, D.C.: The lights went dark in the White House when a local power transmission line failed and sent a cascading power failure across our nation’s capital.

Fortunately, the White House’s backup power generator kicked in almost immediately, which was able to restore power. However, several federal buildings and surrounding academic institutions were left without electricity for several hours following the event.

While there was no lasting damage sustained from the incident, it was a stark reminder that if total power failure could happen at the highest level of U.S. government, it could just as easily happen in your organization. The fact is that the U.S. electrical grid is, in many areas, outdated and highly vulnerable to malfunctions which could result in prolonged instances of downtime. In fact, much of the infrastructure can be traced back several decades, thus calling into question its stability and reliability.

So, what can your business do to safeguard against these types of occurrences? While you don’t have much say in the infrastructure that carries power to your organization, as this is the responsibility of your local utility provider, you can invest in advanced data center power monitoring software so that in the event that your backup power is needed, you will have a clear understanding of how much time you have left before it shuts off entirely. Arming your organization with real-time power monitoring information enables you to make informed decisions that could result in keeping your facility up and running for a longer duration until service from the local grid is restored.

Click here to learn how Server Technology can help you Stay Powered, an maintain 99.999% uptime. 

Topics: data center power, uptime, data center power outage