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Five Reasons to be Thankful for Intelligent Data Center PDUs

Posted by RJ Tee on Nov 21, 2017 10:15:11 AM


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

Three Data Center Power Goals for 2018

Posted by RJ Tee on Oct 5, 2017 9:48:15 AM


October is already here, which means we’re rapidly approaching the end of the year. Before you know it, the holiday rush will arrive, followed closely by the start of 2018 — which means time is running out to plan your data center’s 2018 power management strategy.

Now is an important time to round up your team and discuss ways that you can reduce energy waste next year so that your data center can save money and become more efficient in the process.

Here are three data center power management goals that you should consider for next year: 

  1. Eliminate zombie servers: Chances are likely that if you are running a large-scale data center, you have quite a few servers that are running idly and silently wasting a great deal of energy. In 2018 your goal should be to identify these “zombie” servers, determine how much power they are using and then consider shutting them down.
  2. Ensure business continuity: As we have learned with hurricanes Irma and Harvey, major weather events can arise with little to no warning — wreaking havoc on unprepared data centers. Can your data center withstand a hurricane? Take a hard look at your backup power systems, and make sure they are capable of functioning properly when they need to switch into place with real-time monitoring
  3. Improve remote management: Do you have multiple data centers spread around the country or the world? If so, it’s time consider centralizing management. Invest in a platform like the Sentry Power Manager (SPM) from Server Technology, which can give you a wide range of power management options, directly from a single pane of glass. Your team should be able to execute real-time power management tasks from any location over the Web.

To learn more about how Server Technology can help with these initiatives, click here.

Learn Why Our Customers Choose Servertech Again and Again

Topics: Remote Power Monitoring, zombie servers, Power Goals

Schools: Use Summer to Overhaul Your Data Center Power Strategy

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


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.

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

Zombies In the Data Center: Exclusive Interview With Calvin Nicholson

Posted by Josh Schaap on Mar 13, 2016 9:22:00 AM



On a show like “The Walking Dead,” it’s relatively easy to dispatch a zombie. A quick headshot or katana slash will usually solve your problem. In the data center, zombies are just as prevalent, but not quite as easy to kill. First, you have to identify them. Data center zombies don’t exactly shamble around with their mouths agape, but they can do just as much damage as their fictional counterparts if left unchecked.

Server Technology’s Senior Director of Software and Firmware Development Calvin Nicholson recently explained the zombie server situation. As data centers have grown, the number of overlooked servers that aren’t carrying their weight has grown exponentially, he said. In fact, a recent Computer World article suggests as many as one in three servers may be zombies. Nicholson said these servers leave as much as 40 percent of their loads sitting idle, something that adds up in costs pretty quickly. While it’s not quite a zombie apocalypse out there, it is troubling for any data center manager concerned with saving both the environment and quite a few dollars.

“When you have a data center that grows and evolves, not everyone is watching every single device,” Nicholson said. “For whatever reason, some servers are not doing any useful work. They’re not adding any value and they’re in your rack taking up space.”

Fortunately, Server Technology provides a simple solution to the epidemic of server sprawl or zombie servers: Sentry Power Manager.

“You can’t improve something you’re not monitoring,” Nicholson said. “So, we monitor at the outlet device level and at the infeed level. We even monitor at the branch level so you don’t blow a circuit.”

Nicholson said SPM plays a vital role in seeing which of your servers are useful and which are zombies.

“The value is you’re gaining greater efficiency and not wasting expensive power,” he said.

To highlight the issue of zombie servers, Server Technology will be on hand and two upcoming industry shows: Interop 2016, held May 4-5 in Las Vegas and AFCOM’s Data Center World global conference in Las Vegas March 14-18. Server Technology will host a booth where participants can take a turn playing “Call of Duty: Black Ops 3” on an Xbox. The mission: To kill as many zombies as you can in one minute.

At previous conferences, Server Technology has hosted virtual golf games to attract conference goers, but Nicholson said the zombie approach should hit home with anyone concerned with realizing data center savings.

“The idea is to get people’s attention and talk about a common issue in a way that makes sense,” Nicholson said. “One way to be more efficient is to do away with bunch of servers not doing anything for you.”

To learn more about Sentry power Manager or download a free SPM demo, visit our website. And, if you’re at Interop or AFCOM, drop by the Server Technology booth and say hello. You might even rack up a few zombie kills while you’re at it.


Topics: SPM, Sentry Power Manager, zombie servers

Want To Get Rid Of Your Zombie Servers? Here’s How.

Posted by Josh Schaap on Jul 10, 2015 8:55:31 AM


They’re silent. They’re always on. And they’re quietly eating up a large portion of your data center power budget. We’re talking, of course, about your zombie servers—that is, all of the servers that lay dormant in your facility yet play no part in your facility’s daily operations.

It’s time to rid your data center of this problem. It may take some time, but as AOL recently proved, eliminating zombie servers from your network is feasible—and worth it. The company made headlines recently when it announced that over a five year period, it slashed 14,805 zombie servers from its data centers.

What did AOL gain from reducing zombie servers on its network? Financially the company saved $4.3 million in overall costs. Not only that, but AOL was able to generate $6 million by selling the servers to third party purchasers. And environmentally speaking, AOL reduced its overall carbon footprint by 35 percent in one year.

So, are you ready to send your unused zombie servers packing? If so, first you need to dig into your data center metrics and figure out which ones are actually contributing to the problem. In order to discover this, you need to see which servers you use on a daily basis.

Server Technology’s advanced data center power monitoring equipment is one tool that can greatly expedite this process. Using Server Technology’s power distribution units (PDU) you can gain an incredible amount of insight as to how much energy your devices are using on a daily basis. Armed with this data, you can confidently make changes in your facility and have proof to support your actions.

Click here to get started today!

Topics: data center power, zombie servers

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