This is the second in a series of blog posts providing tips and tricks for answering common data center questions with the use of SPM. Last month, I gave some guidance on answering, “How do I identify the best places to install new IT equipment?” Once you understand the ways SPM can help you with that question, the next question tends to naturally follow.
Server Technology Solution Partner Providers (Part 1 of at least 2 Parts)
I always find it interesting that the power chain is measured and monitored in multiple locations throughout most data centers but is often forgotten once the power enters the data center cabinet. Especially considering that roughly half of the power used (or more) can be traced directly to the cabinet (See Figure 1) and power is typically one of the greatest single costs associated with operating a data center. Often monitoring at the cabinet is the invisible line between the IT and Facilities groups. Even though monitoring at the in-feed of the Cabinet Power Distribution Unit (CDU) is really the same as monitoring at the Remote Power Panel (RPP) as the branch circuits coming out of the RRP are the in-feeds to the cabinet power distribution unit (CDU).
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.
As a Systems Engineer who spends a fair amount of time responding to inquiries received through our Technical Support department I often hear "The PDU blew a fuse. I replaced it but it blew again. Something is wrong with the PDU. Please send me a new one." Would that we could, but the PDU is doing what it should. Following are some notes about why fuses blow and circuit breakers trip, and how to respond to re-energize the outlet branch safely and effectively.
Considering Power Distribution Units (PDU) for your data center racks and IT equipment should require much more thought than simply selecting a ‘power-strip’ hardware configuration. If you care about Green energy initiatives and desire to save on electricity cost by making the most efficient use of the energy you use, make the move to intelligent rack PDUs if you haven’t already done so. This is particularly true for a new data center build and collocations. If you’re considering a collocation space, choosing the right PDU features will provide additional insight into your true energy use and a tool for capacity planning. We are now seeing large data center growth with collocation providers that charge clients based on actual energy consumed, kilowatt hour (kWh). A well thought out data center power distribution implementation will lead to reduced downtime, improved power monitoring management & control capabilities, and drive greater energy efficiency. The best suited Power Distribution solution requires considerable planning.
Can a cabinet/rack based power distribution unit with a higher Ampere rating be used with a lower ampere rated power feed?
Topics: data center power
Not only for the environmental reasons that you may expect, but for the economic benefits seen by incorporating Green IT in the data centers. Going “green” means measuring, analyzing and controlling power usage to enable effective capacity planning along with aptitude to make change for decreased usage – all leading to improved efficiency and a controlled carbon footprint.
Yes, any Server Technology 3-phase Metered, or 3-Phase Intelligent (Smart, Switched, POPS) functional CDU products will provide Branch or Phase current displays for local hands-free viewing to immediately identify balanced loads. This information is also available remotely through any Intelligent CDU communications interface.
Topics: ask the engineer
In most cases it is much more than ‘simply considering the power-strip hardware configuration’. How a Power distribution solution is implemented can lead to reduced downtime, improved power efficiencies, improved power monitoring, management and control. The best suited Power Distribution solution requires considerable planning. First, system solution level questions must be evaluated (1), key issues determined (2), and then the required CDU features can be realized (3).
Topics: ask the engineer
The combined load of branches on a power strip may be capable of exceeding the upstream input protection. There is a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of the power strip internal fuse protection. The fuses are not there to keep the upstream breaker from tripping. Circuit protection within the power strip is there to protect the outlets and wiring to the outlets. Thus, a power strip may be protecting the branch outlets at 20A per NEC allowance while the upstream breaker is protecting the wiring and under-floor receptacle.