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SPM Guides You Forward : Part One - Where do I put this?

Posted by Robert Faulkner on Mar 24, 2014 6:00:00 AM


Last month, I introduced a series of posts with the intent of outlining some tips and tricks, that I have shared with customers over the years, for using SPM in the data center and beyond. These posts are not intended to be a comprehensive instruction, but rather a starting point for discussion with one of our fine Sales Engineers or Technical Support staff.

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Question: How do I identify the best places to install new IT equipment?

On the surface, this seems like a simple question. One might simply answer, “Walk out to the data center and find a slot.” But, of course, the data center might not be in the next room, nor might you be installing just one low-power device. SPM provides a number of tools to help answer this capacity-related question dependent upon the individual data center conditions.

  1. Monitoring of power usage is the first tool in the bag. This has always been the primary function of SPM in the data center. To fully-utilize the power of SPM:
    1. Set capacities for CDU, Cabinet, Zone, and Location in volt-amps based on your infrastructure. These can be set on a per-device basis or en masse by right-click in the Setup Items menu and selecting “Configure Thresholds”. Or, with a left-click selection of the particular type of device (e.g. Cabinets) in the Setup Items menu, a list of those items is brought up in the main window. From this list, you can filter, sort, and multi-select to configure the thresholds of a specific group of items.
    2. While setting capacities, alert thresholds for total power of those CDUs, Cabinets, Zones, and Locations can be set as well. Follow that with ensuring the most critical alert, infeed current, is at the threshold desired. Again, use the selection methods identified in “a” above for setting multiple thresholds at once.
    3. Create System Total Power, Cabinet Redundancy, Energy Consumed, and Low Energy Utilization reports. Create various Total Power trends such as for Cabinets and Locations. Also, share these reports for access by other decision makers. Finally, schedule the reports and trends to run and email those involved on a regular basis.
    4. Create Views that include location displays based on CDU Capacity % Used, list of cabinets, and various reports and trends (see “c” above). And, don’t forget to share your Views so that other decision makers don’t have to re-invent the wheel.
  2. Checking for open U-space and outlets goes along with the simplistic answer of putting the equipment where it fits.
    1. Within each Cabinet, you can create Cabinet Devices to define the specific locations your devices occupy and the specific outlets from which they derive their power.
    2. Run the Cabinet U-space report to gain information about available locations for your new installs. Share and schedule reports as desired.
    3. Run the Cabinet Device Inventory report to provide asset information to applicable personnel. Share and schedule reports as desired.
  3. Monitoring of temperature allows for finer analysis of the better locations based on cooling performance.
    1. Create reports and trends to monitor temperature and humidity at various locations in the data center including any expected hot spots based on equipment in use. Share and schedule these as desired.
    2. Set thresholds at reasonable levels. Start with an understanding of the expectation of temperature and humidity based on reports and trends from “a” above. Like with the power thresholds, environmental thresholds can be set en masse.
    3. Create Views that include location displays based on Temperature and Humidity, alarm history, and various reports and trends (see “a” above). Finally, share your Views like you did with the power monitoring above.

Understanding growth, past, present, and future, is an important aspect of running the data center. For more information on Growth Planning, see the Application Note on the subject.

Topics: Data Center, SPM, Sentry Power Manager, data center planning, cabinet power, asset management, capacity planning, power availability

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