Monday, August 11, 2008

Receptacle Level Load Monitoring & Control

Power monitoring and control at the receptacle or rack level is a hot topic lately. Part of the interest can be attributed to the lure of the unknown – that feeling of “I’m not sure why I want it, but I’ll probably need it!” But there are some really solid reasons for data center managers to consider receptacle-level power monitoring/control solutions.

The ability to trace watts information at the power strip level gives a much clearer picture of how much power a data center consumes. If I have an under-performing asset, it’s easy to earmark for replacement if the problem can be measured down to the receptacle level. If an asset is under-utilized, it can be easily targeted for virtualization.

There are a number of products that can be used for receptacle-level power monitoring and management. Take, for instance, the RPC series of power management solutions from Baytech. These units let you manage power more efficiently by remotely turning on/off receptacles or rebooting unresponsive equipment. (You can read more about Baytech’s products in “Better Monitor & Control Power” at

Raritan offers Remote Power Control (RPC) units that allow you to control power usage at the socket level. The units have individual LED indicators for each receptacle and, in the case of an outage, offers receptacle status retention so that power is restored only to those assets that were on previously.

There are also the Synaptix™ power distribution units from Epicenter. These products come in a variety of receptacle configurations, offer the ability to measure consumption at each individual receptacle, and can be accessed remotely.

It will be interesting to measure the true impact of these units on data center power efficiency. Don’t be surprised to find me writing a white paper on the use of receptacle-level power solutions in the coming months.

Monday, August 04, 2008

New White Paper on Power Usage

Managing data center power usage is critical due to rising energy costs and diminishing supplies. But where do you start?

To help answer this question, PTS Data Center Solutions in collaboration with Raritan, a leading manufacturer of power management products, developed a new white paper that examines the myths and realities of power usage in the data center.

Entitled “Power Moves: Understanding what you know - and don't know - about power usage in your data center”, the white paper shows IT professionals how to calculate data center power efficiency and set standards to align with the Green Grid. Its findings are based on a series of tests which examined the effects of heat, airflow and power usage in a working server environment using 3-D CFD software and intelligent power distribution units (iPDUs), among other devices.

The hypothesis was that, by knowing more about their real-time operational environment, data center managers would be empowered to manage smarter. Key findings include:
  • Servers are not necessarily needed to add computational power;
  • OpEx expenses can be reduced without putting required computing at risk; and
  • Running servers at 80 to 100 percent can be more beneficial than running at the industry average of 60-80 percent.

To download the free white paper, please visit the PTS Media Library.