Servertech Cx and Data Center Standardization

RJ Tee
December 14, 2018

server-tech-cx-and-data-center-standardization -

The idea that standardization benefits those of us in the data center space is neither new nor difficult to grasp.  Data center standardization is a reality that directly supports the uptime goals of your organization.  This applies wherever your PDU(s) are operating, like a colocation facility, corporate data center, or hyperscale complex.  You may wonder, then, how PDU power factors into this equation, let alone a small receptacle tucked into a PDU at the back of a rack?

Much has been written about infrastructure standardization around power and cooling components, as well as process automation and move/add/change procedures.  The benefits associated with these concepts can be summarized as follows:

  1. Simple and well-defined standard operating procedures (SOPs) streamline work flow, avoid confusion, and improve the time to complete the task.
  1. New employee training and existing employee retention is improved by making complex operations easier to understand and execute.
  1. The resiliency of the operation is improved by reducing the cost, complexity, and risk associated with future changes to any portion of the system.

If the end result of standardization could be summed up in two words, they would be flexibility and scalability.  While the ever-present goal of reliability is top of mind, it is the impact of the unknown future that often poses the most risk.  Maintaining flex and scale capability is the way that data center operators minimize that risk. 

The challenge of electrical infrastructure is that once it is installed and energized, the components themselves are decidedly un-flexible.  Rack PDU(s) are no exception to this rule: once you have one installed, plugged in to the equipment it will support, and turned on, it tends to stay in that position until it is time to decommission the rack.  So how does a PDU manufacturer like Server Technology reintroduce flexibility into the PDU equation? 

Back to that small receptacle tucked into the rack PDU mentioned above.  If there was ever a part of the electrical infrastructure that was inflexible, it is the receptacle.  Yesterday you had equipment with standard C20 plugs, but today you are looking at changing half the rack with new servers that arrived with C14’s.  So much for standardization.   

Earlier in the year, Server Technology introduced the new Cx outlet, a UL tested hybrid of the C13 and C19 outlet rolled into a single receptacle.  The new Cx allows you to plug either a C20 or a C14 into the exact same spot, thus introducing a little bit of flexibility into a fairly rigid part of the infrastructure.  We would like to think that even a small receptacle can make a big difference when it comes to data center standardization.

At Server Technology, we understand the challenges of maintaining standardization while introducing flexibility and warding off the costs of future updates.  We like to think that our Cx outlet does its little part to make the PDU a big game changer.

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