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Asking the Right Questions When Selecting Data Center PDUs
With mobile traffic exploding, data center power consumption is going through the roof. Consequently, energy efficiency of power units used in data centers has become very critical for several reasons. Besides saving electricity cost, energy efficient power distribution units (PDUs) can also simplify cooling with room for planning. A well thought out data center power distribution implementation can reduce downtime, which is expensive, and also improve power monitoring, management and control capabilities.
Before selecting a PDU for a data center rack, IT managers and administrators must ask a few important questions. To help them select the right power unit for their data center racks, Server Technology’s (News - Alert) Bob Parente has proposed some fundamental questions that are posted on the company’s Data Center Power blog. In addition, he also recommends adopting intelligent rack PDUs to address some of the issues.
In fact, as per this blog post, if data center managers are considering a colocation space, choosing the right PDU features will provide additional insight into true energy use, as well as a tool for capacity planning. In this blog post, Parente emphasizes the fact that the best suited PDU solution requires considerable planning.
According to Parente, system solution level questions must be first asked, along with key issues, to determine a rack PDU. Once an outline of features has been established, selecting rack PDU becomes easy.
Parente’s system solution level questions include:
- Will you be monitoring the IT equipment load (using PUE, DCIE, or DCeP rating systems) to measure power efficiency?
- Are you looking to construct a database of power (kW and kWh) information for power monitoring, power reports and power trending?
- Would it be beneficial to be able to create “clusters” of outlet data to develop power consumption trend data for groups of devices, racks, rows, types of devices, or facilities?
- Is it helpful to see current load capacity of a given power circuit for capacity planning & load balancing based on actual IT equipment loads (per phase amperage draw to help minimize wasted energy due to unbalanced 3-Phase loads)?
- Would it be useful to generate SNMP traps and receive an alert delivered to the desktop or portable device when a pre-defined power and/or environmental threshold have been exceeded at the rack or outlet level?
- Would automatic load shedding (turn off pre-determined outlets) upon a pre-defined event be beneficial?
- Would it be advantageous to use a single IP address per rack for power & environmental monitoring, with management and control to the outlet level?
- Key issues that must be considered before a rack PDU is selected include maintaining uptime, power management and control, and enterprise level power monitoring.
Furthermore, Parente also presents a few rack PDU hardware questions, such as expected maximum power needed, input voltage range, power redundancy and growth, type of devices—single or dual supply-- to be connected to the rack, power factor correction, number and type of outlets required, and mounting considerations.
Server Technology provides a variety of rackmount data center PDUs that include metered, basic, smart and switched PDUs. While basic PDUs provide reliable power distribution for all of the devices in the equipment cabinet, metered PDUs utilize true RMS power monitor to precisely measure the current (in amperes) drawn by the network. A smart PDU is basically a metered PDU that is IP-addressable.
Likewise, switched PDUs securely monitor and control cabinet power in a data center via a network. In essence, a switched PDU combines network configuration and management with power distribution and monitoring.
To learn more about Server Technology and its data center power monitoring and management solutions, visit www.servertech.com.Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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