Power Tip 3: Configuring Notifications & Thresholds

Posted by Isaiah LaJoie on July 30, 2020

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To address the needs of its customers during the quarantine, Server Technology has designed a webinar series that breaks down the ins and outs of remote power management.  The interactive webinar series, “PowerTips Live,” was developed to support you and your team. Live demonstrations of intelligent PDU features are available to help you better manage your operation remotely. This article is a recap of the third tip in the series, which addresses how to configure thresholds and notifications on intelligent PDUs, or IP power strips.

In the previous PowerTip blog, we talked about how to access the monitoring menu and how to keep from overloading your network PDU at the line, branch, and circuit level.  Establishing notifications and thresholds to alert you of potential overloads, as well as any other monitored condition visible to your PDU, has many benefits. The next logical step is configuring your system for remote management.

To get the most out of your hardware, each notification event associated with a given threshold is individually selectable for SNMP Trap notifications, email notifications, or both. These range from alerting you of minor changes in your critical environment, to major event notifications that could result in downtime if not resolved quickly.

The PRO2 (and now PRO3X) firmware that drives Server Technology’s intelligent PDU lines is designed to measure everything there is to measure, electrically speaking, plus a little more.  In addition to active, apparent, and power factor readings, the units can notify you if someone opens a rack door or spills their illicit cup of Starbucks while making changes in a rack.  In fact, the combinations of available notifications can be overwhelming, which is where our approach to hysteresis comes in.

Hysteresis is a fifty-cent technical term for a methodology that keeps you from getting overloaded with messages, alerts, and warnings.  Within the configuration menu, use the hysteresis drop-down to throttle back the frequency and volume of communications you can expect from your unit.  

Changing thresholds on the unit, as demonstrated in the PowerTip, is simple and intuitive.  Everything you need is in the configuration menu.  Server Technology’s firmware allows you to create thresholds and customize notifications on an outlet-by-outlet basis.  That means you can dial the PDU differently – and receive different notifications – for individual pieces of equipment within the rack. 

Sound like a daunting task for an entire data center’s worth of equipment?  Were it not for Server Technology’s ‘cut and paste’ feature, it would be.  And I will ask forgiveness from our engineers in advance for that oversimplified term, but suffice it to say, our STIC option allows you to push your custom configurations to other PDUs, ideally through an SFTP client on the network. 

If you need further support, we at Server Technology are here to take your calls.  For more details on the topic of configuration notifications and thresholds, check out the Power Tip #3 video on YouTube.

Power Tip 5: Extending the Operational Life of Critical Devices