Right now data center power consumption is on the rise in North America, as the number of racks increased by 9.1 percent in Canada and 4.3 percent in the U.S. in 2013. All signs are showing this trend continuing through 2014 and beyond as data centers standardize on high-density equipment to achieve more processing power in a smaller space.
As power requirements increase, data center managers everywhere are looking for ways to deliver more power to the computer cabinet in a cost-effective way. One way they are accomplishing this is by upgrading their power distribution systems from single phase to three phase.
Why are three phase systems more cost efficient? A single phase power cord contains three wires. A three-phase delta power cord contains four wires. For that one additional wire, three phase delta delivers 52% more power than single phase. But it doesn’t come without risks.
Thankfully, Server Technology makes it easy and risk-free for you to migrate to three phase power distribution with its new line of alternating phase power distribution units (PDU). These PDU’s alternate the phase pairs on a per-outlet basis instead of a per branch basis.
In addition, Server Technology has incorporated its patented High Density Outlet Technology (HDOT) into the Alternating Phase PDU’s, resulting in the maximum achievable number of outlets in the smallest form factor PDU. This provides the utmost flexibility when it comes to supporting the myriad array of IT equipment in the rack.
Here are some major benefits HDOT Alternating Phase PDUs can provide:
Phase Balancing simplified: The inherent design of Server Technology’s Alternating Phase PDUs simplifies the task of balancing equipment loads across the multiple branches of the PDU. The alternating phase outlet arrangement allows a simple ‘top down’ deployment of the equipment connections to the PDU, resulting in minimal cord runs, which de-clutters the back of the rack and improves air flow.
Less chance of power overload: Unbalanced branches can result in a circuit breaker trip during a fail over event. Alternating phase PDU’s minimize the chance of running with unbalanced loads due to the ease of balancing.
Data Center Power Efficiency: Large Phase imbalances in the data center can lead to voltage and current distortions on the individual phases, increased heat dissipation, and reduced equipment life. Phase balancing in the data center starts at the PDU. Alternating Phase PDU’s simplify the phase balancing challenge.
More Outlets in a Smaller Space: Taller racks with smaller footprints push the need for smaller, denser PDU’s. Server Technology’s (HDOT) provides the highest outlet density of any network PDU on the market.
Want to learn more? Click here to read the Server Technology white paper.
Up until now, you were able to power your servers and applications using a 30A single phase, 208V power distribution unit (PDU) that contained two 20A circuit breakers. This power cord feeding this PDU contained two power wires and a ground wire. In order to properly distribute 30A of power without overloading any branch, you needed two 20A branches with an equal quantity of outlets per branch.
But now, you are investing in denser applications that require more power. To achieve this power density, you are considering upgrading your cabinet power feeds to three-phase distribution and 60A service. Doing so will increase your power availability from 5kW to 17.2 kW, but it will also require tripling the number of branches in your PDU from two to six.
When utilizing a three-phase six branch PDU, balancing your loads evenly across the six branches is very important so as not to overload a single branch. In addition, as outlined in a recent Server Technology white paper, equally loading all three phases in the data center will result in the highest power usage efficiency, minimizing heat in your cable runs, as well decreasing the likelihood of tripping an upstream circuit breaker.
Traditional PDU’s have branches bunched together in groups along the length of the device, requiring a multitude of different cable lengths from the PDU to the equipment to achieve balanced loads. This scenario typically results in a large amount of cable in the back of the cabinet which subsequently inhibits air flow increasing heat, and shortening equipment life.
You can overcome these challenges by using an alternating phase PDU from Server Technology. In alternating phase PDU’s, the six branches are distributed on an outlet by outlet basis instead of grouped together in six discreet zones. This results in shorter power cords between the rack equipment and PDU, resulting in a cleaner cable structure and maximum air flow. Assembly also becomes faster and easier, as the installer typically just needs to connect the equipment to the nearest outlet, and the branches inherently balance.
Are you ready to increase your power flow, safely, efficiently and affordably? Click here to view Server Technology’s complete line of alternating phase PDUs.
Purchasing a smart cabinet power distribution unit (PDU) is the first step in obtaining reliable data center power distribution and branch circuit protection. It is essential for building an efficient, eco-friendly and cost-effective facility. Now, take it a step further and enhance your PDU with these essential accessories that Server Techology has to offer:
Environmental monitoring: Power consumption isn’t the only thing you should be observing in your data center. Temperature and humidity can make or break the performance of your network infrastructure. Server Technology’s temperature and humidity probe uses built-in firmware in cabinet PDUs to provide alerts in the event those environmental conditions begin to become an issue. The environmental monitoring solution provides you with the data necessary to address system problems before they can lead to overheating or a power failure.
ST Eye: You are rarely in front of your desk during the day; instead, you are moving among your data center, the executive suite and the business floor. With the ST Eye, an app that transmits power, system and environmental data straight to your mobile device, you will stay connected and receive alerts from your cabinet PDUs wherever you are in the building. This means you will never have to worry about missing critical alerts when they arise.
Cord retention: Cable management is still one of the biggest headaches that IT operators struggle to overcome. Cables can become bunched up, mixed up and uplugged. Server Technology provides locking cables, latches, cord sleeves and cable retention clips to make it easier to store cables and prevent mishaps from occurring.
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We’ve reached that point in the year when, in an effort to combat steep cooling costs, IT managers start toying with the idea of changing the temperature in their data centers. But is this a wise decision?
As it turns out, it’s safe enough to be backed by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), which now recommends network professionals raise data center temperatures from the recommended 72 degrees to as much as 80 degrees. The association claims that for every degree you raise your data center, you will save 4 to 5 percent in energy costs.
Right now, however, an overwhelming 47 percent of data center managers keep their data center between 71 and 75 degrees. Only 7 percent claim their average server supply air temperature is above 75 degrees.
Ultimately the decision as to how cool your data center should be is up to you. You could play it conservative and pay more in electricity, or you could test your equipment and potentially save some valuable resources in your data center like water, energy and money. In either case, you should always know exactly what temperature it is in your data center. And data center environmental monitoring devices will allow you to do this.
Server Technology’s data center power monitoring software can provide critical information about the temperature and humidity of your data center. This will give you the ability to benchmark progress and understand exactly how your equipment operates under different climatic conditions. This solution, when coupled with a smart power meter, will give you the equipment you need to experiment with temperature safely and accurately.
Click here to learn more about Server Technology’s environmental monitoring equipment.
In a data center, power-usage problems can sneak up just like old age. It’s hard to spot long-term consumption issues when adding equipment and applications to your data center on a day-to-day basis. You might add a server here or an application there and not really think much about the bigger picture. Then, you run out of capacity, and problems such as network outages begin to arise.
The key is to avert a power-capacity pinch before it happens through proactive data center power monitoring. By taking this approach using real-time and long-term predictive analysis, data center operators can gain a clear view of the impact to their data center power supply before they install a new piece of network hardware.
Server Technology’s Sentry Power Manager (SPM), the 2014 DCS Data Center Management Product of the Year, is one solution that can provide this level of insight. SPM uses two different time parameters to anticipate future power usage, so technicians can be advised when more resources are needed ahead of time. The system also uses email notification to show where problems might occur in the network.
If left unchecked, the costs of an unplanned network outage can be devastating. Research shows that just one minute of data center downtime can cost as much as $7,900 on average. Most organizations simply don’t have the resources to recover from such a disaster. Instead of waiting for a power pinch in your network, click here to learn how Server Technology can help you stay ahead of the curve.
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Picture this: you go on break believing that everything is fine with your data center. An hour later, you come back to chaos- the network is down and nobody knows why.
What is your plan for this type of emergency? How will you go about fixing the problem? Has your team even previously agreed on a charter to rectify the situation in a step-by-step process? Unfortunately, every second that you waste is lost revenue, data and, most likely, customers. What you need is a plan in place so that you can spring into action and resolve the problem.
One of the most crucial steps in getting your data center up and running again is your ability to quickly observe your network and find out the power levels of your equipment. You need to be able to glance at a single interface and see a working map of hardware in real time in order to bring your network back up to a working order.
With a data center power monitoring solution, you can measure and manage your power levels so that you can find out the exact location of a power failure almost instantly, in real time. Automated cabinet-redundancy status will also ensure cabinet redundancy in the event of a power loss, which will provide statistics and reporting in a bar graph form. You will also gain access to visibility indicating whether any additional space is left in cabinets for re-allocating data during the recovery process.
For more information about how Server Technology can make this happen in your data center, please click here.
Small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are at risk of substantial financial losses from unplanned network outages. In fact, 80 percent of SMBs stand to lose at least $20,000 per hour when network downtime occurs. And for 20 percent of SMBs, a single hour of downtime can cost as much as $100,000. The majority of SMBs lack the necessary resources for recovering from such financial catastrophe.
When looking for ways to safeguard against network downtime, consider the most important part of your data center: its power supply. Unchecked power consumption increases in data center power usage following the addition of network hardware can lead to problems like network failure and unexpected outages. IT managers need to be constantly aware of how much power their equipment is using so they can plan ahead and add devices onto their network without the threat of an outage.
Server Technology’s complete line of power distribution units provide both real- and non-real-time reporting to aid data center managers in preventing outages. For instance, by using Server Technology’s data center power monitoring solutions, IT managers looking to add servers to their data centers can learn whether they have the room to accommodate such growth now and in the future.
Network downtime can be costly, but with advanced data center power monitoring and reporting tools, IT managers at the SMB level will have all the resources they need to stay up and running. Click here to learn more about how Server Technology can benefit your organization.
Your data center is expensive enough. So, you want to make sure that any investment that you put into it will provide more than just the basic ROI. You want to maximize your cost savings as well as your profits.
Here are three ways that you can put your data center power management solution to good use and get the most out of it:
1. Use the data that you pull in: Raw data isn’t good for much unless it’s being organized and interpreted. With a Sentry Power System (SPS), you can take the basic measurements that you receive from your data center and transform it into useful metrics that can be used to run reports and chart progress over the long term. This way, you can get a better idea about how your investment is paying off presently and how it’s shaping up for the future.
2. Establish long term green initiatives: Make the decision to go green and show your partners and customers that you are invested in protecting the environment around you. Benchmark your energy savings and be able to look back in ten years to see what your carbon footprint would have been without a power monitoring solution.
3. Protect and optimize your equipment: The more care you put into your equipment, the longer it will last. By making sure your equipment gets enough power, you can extend the life so that you will not have to EOL hardware two or three years down the road.
How do you get the most out of your power monitoring solution?
You regularly add new hardware to your network without thinking of the network’s total power capacity limit. But what if the next server you add is the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and your network crashes from a lack of power? Your business will be forced to purchase additional capacity, which can cost a fortune. Or, you will have to re-distribute information amongst servers, which can take a lot of time.
Here are three signs your data center could be in for a capacity planning nightmare:
Your data center budget recently grew: Best practices for avoiding a network planning catastrophe call for showing restraint when your IT budget grows. Make sure you actually have the network capacity before you go out and buy the new switches, routers and/or servers you need.
Your company is investing in IoT technology: The Internet of Things (IoT) movement is growing quickly. According to Gartner, by 2020 the IoT will include 26 billion units. This means that businesses are going to be soon be flooded with large amounts of data from the increasing number of connected devices. So businesses need to prepare ahead of time to avoid running into capacity issues.
“The enormous number of devices, coupled with the sheer volume, velocity and structure of IoT data, creates challenges, particularly in the areas of security, data, storage, management, servers and the data center network, as real-time business processes are at stake,” explains Gartner analyst and Vice President Joe Skorupa.
Without the ability to understand the amount of power that smart devices—like those embedded in light bulbs and climate control units—are using, IT managers will have a hard time keeping networks up and running as the IoT movement grows.
You have no network power visibility: If the only visibility you have into your data center’s energy efficiency is the electricity bill you receive at the end of the month, then you are not seeing the total picture. You need in-depth reporting of all of your network equipment in order to benchmark progress and prevent downtime.
Click here to learn how Server Technology can help you gain total network visibility with its power distribution and monitoring solutions.
As an IT manager in charge of overseeing your company’s data center operations, you are constantly looking for ways to increase efficiency and keep costs to a minimum. This begs the question: have you considered implementing a robust power monitoring solution into your data center yet?
Here are the top five why you need to make power distribution and monitoring a priority in your data center:
1. Increase energy efficiency: It’s hard to reduce the amount of energy that your data center consumes. But it is easy to track each watt in order to know where you can re-allocate electricity and stretch your budget further.
2. Save money: Face it: energy is expensive. And some data centers can take up as much energy as a small city over the course of a year. Increase your energy efficiency by tracking where power is distributed through active power monitoring.
3. Prevent downtime: Unless your company has a bottomless pit of resources, it cannot afford even a few minutes of downtime. By investing in power distribution and monitoring, you can rest assured that you’ll always be on top of important issues when they arise.
4. Promote environmental responsibility: Do your part to ensure that you clean up the environment and don’t consume an excessive amount of energy. At the same time, make sure that you are using all of the electricity that you are paying for.
5. Protect and optimize equipment: Extend the life of your equipment by making sure that it’s constantly filled with power and not in danger of crashing. Equipment that receives adequate power levels will stand less of a chance of crashing.
How has power monitoring helped your organization’s data center? Please tell us about your experiences in the comments section below.