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Your Data Center Is Unlike Any Other—So Build a Custom PDU Solution


Microsoft Corp Data Center(Image: Microsoft Corp)

Imagine you’re looking for a new suit. Are you going to settle for any old set of threads from off of the rack? Or will you invest in a custom-tailored ensemble? Chances are likely that you’ll embrace the latter because the higher-quality materials and workmanship will improve the fit and your professional appearance as well as increase the durability of the finished product.

Similarly, when you invest in a customized data center solution—such as a power distribution unit (PDU)—you are guaranteed a product with features that make it more valuable for your particular business’s needs. Just like your custom suit is unique for you, your data center power needs are one of a kind. What works for one organization might not work for yours, so you need a PDU that will conform to your exact specifications.  

Here at Server Technology, we make it easy to design your own PDU. You can choose your amperage type (one-phase, three-phase or three-phase alternating current), power input style, orientation type and outlet module. We even give you the option to choose your connectivity preference—be it IP-enabled or metered. Our build-your-own-PDU (BYOP) generator puts you in the driver’s seat and gives you the option to tell us exactly what you want. Then, we will tailor your PDU(s) to conform to the needs of your servers.

It’s time to outfit your data center with a PDU solution that will help maximize efficiencies and mitigate frustration. Click here to learn how to build your own PDU today. 

Reduce the Cost of Your Network Infrastructure With Cable Length


In many ways, a data center should be seen and not heard in an organization. While the data center is one of the most critical parts of any company, it can also be seen as a financial burden to upper management. This is especially true in today’s cloud-driven market where business leaders are growing increasingly focused on outsourcing data operations to the cloud.

So if you want to keep your data center on-premises, it’s important that you stay as far out of the financial red zone as possible. In assessing your strategies for reducing operational costs and reducing your network infrastructure, one of the easiest and safest things you can do is to shorten the length of your cables. There are a few upsides to doing this. First and foremost, shorter cables are less expensive and more efficient. You will reduce power loss and you will also improve airflow in your rack, which will decrease server temperatures. Cooler servers run faster, and are less prone to overheating and system failure.

Using High-Density Outlet Technology (HDOT) from Server Technology is one of the best ways to reduce cable length in your cabinets. HDOT power distribution units (PDUs) attach directly to the top or side of a cabinet, which means instead of having to run cables several yards to an outlet, you will only need a few feet of wiring. HDOT PDUs are IP-enabled for remote power distribution and monitoring capabilities, and also come with real-time environmental monitoring to alert managers about fluctuating cabinet temperatures and humidity levels.

Click here to get started using Server Tech’s HDOT PDU technology today. 

Product Spotlight: Meet the New PRO2 PDU From Server Technology


Threats to data center uptime are on the rise, challenging operators to ensure continuous network availability. Businesses need to safeguard themselves against a whole host of environmental and security-related dangers, from an increasing number of cyber and physical threats to unexpected severe weather incidents. To address these concerns, Server Technology has responded with the latest version of its power distribution unit (PDU) platform; built with bleeding-edge PRO2 Architecture, it guarantees maximum rack availability no matter what difficulties arise.  

Built with redundant power and hot-swappable network cards, the PRO2 platform is capable of ensuring communication among rackmounted devices even in the event that a master power unit fails. It is, therefore, ideal for use in high-density or high-temperature environments, or for use with mission-critical applications that require advanced protection. PRO2 units can also be linked together in the event of an emergency, so that multiple units can continue communicating until service is restored.

The new PRO2 platform, which Server Technology will use in all PDU models moving forward, goes above and beyond the company’s previous PDU offerings as it provides improved outlet types and enclosure sizes, as well as a sleeker design and stronger, more-reliable firmware. It contains more processing power and memory, too.

PRO2 also integrates more easily with Server Technology’s Sentry Power Manager, as it now comes with more-advanced network capacity planning tools, better reporting capabilities and rack-level power measurements.

This product is now available in single-phase 208/230V, three-phase 208V and three-phase 400/415V 20-30/16-32A switched POPS 30-outlet PDUs. Click here for more information about how you can get started using the next generation of High-Density Outlet Technology from Server Technology today. 

Why Choose Server Technology for Your Data Center Power Needs?


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Choosing a data center power management solution for your business is a big decision. Since power is one of the most critical components of a data center, the solution you choose will have a direct impact on your business. In many ways, it could mean the difference between success and failure for your company. 

Here at Server Technology, we understand the responsibility of providing your business with a first-class data center power management solution. Our customers agree that our solution provides outstanding benefits, as evidenced in our most recent customer survey, which found that 97 percent of them buy from us repeatedly.

Here are some of the business initiatives we enable you to execute when you partner with us for your data center power management needs:

Obtain high-quality products: More than two-thirds of our customers indicated that quality was their top purchasing criterion for investing in Server Technology products. All of our rackmount power distribution units are built with Server Tech Quality Power Architecture (QPA), which means they are designed and manufactured with 100 percent product performance testing, making them risk-free and built for reliability and performance.

Access expert support: When you purchase products from Server Technology, you’ll gain more than just a high-quality product. You’ll also gain access to a team of trained service engineers that can help you solve problems and overcome data center power challenges. How comprehensive is the support you will receive? An overwhelming 85 percent of our customers say our support is superior to the competition’s.

Improve power density: Are you trying to increase density in your data center to save floor space and money? If so, we are ready to assist you. Some 74 percent of our customers were able to resolve all of their power-density challenges after purchasing our products.

Click here to request a quote and get started using Server Technology today. 

How PRO2 Came to Be


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Sometimes if organizations are not careful they can be a victim of their own success.  This was certainly true for Server Technology who driven by a large number of customer requests for custom PDU solutions focused on developing these solutions quickly and efficiently as a core competency. This kept us ahead of the market in many ways providing key solutions immediately needed in the market. It also pushed some other projects to the background.

A decision was made to make a conscience split between our new technologies and our same but different engineering groups that had at their exposure a modular design that they could mold and piece together in multiple ways to produce custom solutions. Many of the new product features today like ST Eye (Bluetooth communications with Android and Apple App’s), higher temperature ratings, mechanical improvements, improved security, SNAP (plug and play PDU configuration), new PRO2 PDU, RF Code tag support, etc. are a result of this refocus.

The new PRO2 architecture takes our existing features and combines them with new additional features driven by both customer demand and the goal of greater reliability and uptime. Some of these new PRO2 features include:      

      -    Multi-Linking of Units (1 IP for up to 4 units)
      -    Redundant Power from the Link Unit always ensuring uptime
      -    Hot Swap network card replacement
      -    Highest density form factor
      -    Shallow POPS enclosure (2.25 inches deep)
      -    Graphical interface with file system, new security features and alerts
      -    Branch Circuit Monitoring and alerts
      -    Higher temperature ratings

The PRO2 product is truly a combination of our complete and total understanding of both our customer’s requirements and the data center cabinet power critical infrastructure environment.  For more information on PRO2 watch the video on our home page.

Don't Get Blindsided By a Lack of Capacity in Your Data Center


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Stop and think about how a garage slowly fills up with “stuff.” Into the space initially slotted to protect your automobile, you introduce a new leaf blower, then a lawn mower, then bicycles, balls and bats, tools … the list goes on. The next thing you know, you’re parking your car in the driveway, and then, even worse, you run out of room for any new commodities.

This exact same problem can occur in your data center if you are not careful—except, if it does happen, the costs and inconveniences (even risks) are much higher, as new sources of power and network storage capacity must be found. And, unlike in your garage, reaching capacity is much harder to spot, too. You might add a server here, or a network switch there, and pretty soon you’ve reached capacity without any prior warning—leaving you scrambling for a last-minute solution.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that by virtualizing your servers you can overcome this problem. While increasing rack density is a great way to save money and reduce physical storage space in your facility, it can still require a large amount of power. The only way to prevent running into a big network capacity pinch is to keep a close watch on your business’s overall resource consumption. It’s critical to see how your business is using electricity in real time. Understand that every new network device and every component that your data center uses are all part of the same system.

Monitoring storage availability is also important for scalability. If your business grows overnight and your data center needs to expand, you must oversee that with a complete understanding or your storage limitations.

Server Technology’s data center power monitoring solution is a tool that you can use to gain crystal-clear visibility into your overall network capacity. Click here to learn more about how Server Technology can help protect your business. 

Thoughts on Star Trek TNG and Data Center Density


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There is a famous scene in the classic Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) episode “The Neutral Zone” where Captain Jean-Luc Picard attempts to explain the value of a resource-based society to a man named Ralph Offenhouse. Offenhouse was cryogenically frozen in 1994 and wakes up aboard the USS Enterprise in 2364.

“A lot has changed in the past 300 years,” explains Picard. “People are no longer obsessed with the accumulation of things. We’ve eliminated hunger, want and the need for possessions. We’ve grown out of our infancy.”

Fans of the show know that Picard is referring, at least partially, to the use of replication technology aboard the Starship Enterprise, which is capable of dematerializing matter and rematerializing it into another form. In the show, replicators produce everything from food to machine parts. Just about anything that the crew of the Enterprise needs can be produced right on board the vessel, meaning that much of the struggles over resources that plagued humanity in the year 1994 no longer exist.

Offenhouse, who is unfamiliar with the notion of a society that is free of want, refutes Picard’s statement by asserting that mankind’s struggle has never been about possessions, but about power. People want the power to control their lives and destinies. He can’t grasp the concept that his former struggles to protect his assets—like his home—are now meaningless. Life in the 24th century, after all, is about nothing more than improving and enriching yourself. 

So, what does all of this have to do with data center density? As a data center operator, you are going through the same struggles that Offenhouse faced onboard the Enterprise as far as protecting your assets goes. You have a whole data center to power, which requires expensive resources like electricity, and water for cooling. And as we approach the year 2015, these resources are starting to get scarce. The cost of electricity is rising. Most of the West is facing severe drought. And on top of all of this, you are facing unprecedented restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions.

Someday, our society might evolve to the point where we can solve all of these problems through the use of technology like a replicator. But for now, the closest thing we have to a futuristic next-generation solution is virtualization. Just like a replicator can eliminate the need to store physical objects, the process of virtualization can help you vanquish a decent chunk of your bulky physical servers without sacrificing productivity. And by doing so, you can save money, increase floor space, help the environment and improve efficiencies in your facility.

The time, therefore, has come to take control of your data center’s destiny. And you can easily accomplish this by virtualizing your servers and pairing them with a robust data center power monitoring solution that allows you to see exactly how your data center is using every amp of electricity.

Click here to learn more about how Server Technology can help your data center reach the final frontier.  

Introducing PRO2 the next evolutionary step in PDU design


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The PRO2 platform continues STI’s more than 30 year tradition of customer driven power solutions development. PRO2 features a flexible hardware platform with more outlets, shallow form factor, a faster processor, improved firmware and security, more redundancy, more customization and additional resiliency built into the power distribution unit. PRO2 will initially be available in single-phase 208/230V, three-phase 208V, and three phase 400/415V 20-30/16-32A configurations of STI’s Switched and Switched POPS 30-outlet CDUs.  Take a few minutes to read the full article in Processor to get more details.

Don't Underestimate the Importance of Calculating Your PUE


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As a data center facilities operator, you know that the bottom line is one of the most important measures of your data center. If your IT equipment is costing more money than it is producing for your business, you need to change your game plan and create a more efficient data center.

One of the best metrics that facility operators can use to calculate data center power efficiency and to better understand their power consumption is power usage effectiveness (PUE). This metric can be found by dividing the total amount of power flowing into a data center (through UPS, batteries and switching equipment) by the power of its IT equipment (typically including servers). PUE is a ratio, and the closer it gets to 1-to-1, the more efficient the facility.

But as useful as this metric is for creating a more cost-effective data center, 34 percent of respondents in a recent Uptime Institute survey of 1,000 data center facility operators claim they do not calculate PUE.

So, why are so many operators neglecting to collect this critical metric? It could have a lot to do with not having the right technology to do so, as it requires taking physical energy measurements, and knowing all of the equipment that is powering a network. This is a difficult process, and could result in human error or miscalculations.

With a solution that can automatically register and report your data center power usage, however, calculating your facility’s PUE is simple. In fact, you can stream critical power usage information right to your mobile device—so you can stay on top of your PUE without having to actually be around your data center.

Click here to learn more about how Server Technology can make it easy to calculate the PUE for your data center. 

Now is the Time to Invest in an Energy Efficiency Program


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Right now energy efficiency is a big issue for IT managers, as environmental concerns and the cost of power are increasing across the U.S. And with the upcoming international Climate Summit right around the corner, energy efficiency is on everyone’s mind as we look for ways of creating more responsible energy consumption.

For U.S. businesses, there is still a lot of work to be done to become greener and more efficient. Right now, the majority of U.S. private and public enterprises still do not use energy efficiency programs in their data centers. And the U.S. ranks a lowly 13th in global energy efficiency. With the global energy demand expected to double by 2050, it is becoming increasingly important for IT managers to look for ways to conserve power usage.

Are you ready to start making energy efficiency a priority in your data center? If so, a great place to start is by investing in a robust power distribution and monitoring solution. With such a solution, you can gain advanced insight into your data center’s power consumption and then identify inefficiencies. Additionally, a best-in-class power monitoring solution will give you the ability to benchmark improvements in efficiency. For example, with the right data center power visibility software, IT managers can look for over utilized or underutilized servers and redistribute power accordingly, wasting less energy. This is easily accomplished with smart and metered power distribution units.

So, what are you doing to curb power inefficiencies in your data center? Tell us about your practices in the comments section below. 

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