data center power

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    Power Management: The First Step in Data Center Sustainability

    by Josh Schaap

    It’s never a good feeling reading about a truly green data center, and then realizing just how far behind your own data center ecosystem is in its sustainability efforts. Take Google, for instance. On September 14, Google announced a new commitment to achieving “Zero Waste to Landfill” in its data centers. As Google Technical Program Manager Rachel Futrell explained on the Google Green Blog, Google is striving to divert waste away from its data centers in a sustainable way. Six of its 14 sites are now achieving 100 percent diversion rates. Globally, Google is now diverting at least 86 percent of waste away from landfills. And Google wants to improve these figures!

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    On the Subject of Electrical Inequality

    by RJ Tee

    I must admit I have been thinking a lot about quality lately. Our data center industry, at its core, is about power correction, conditioning, and quality. The ability of a mission-critical electrical system to deliver the proper sine wave to the server is a multi-billion-dollar industry. (My apologies in advance to the mechanical minded for such unilateral statements.)

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    Meet Stockholm’s Climate Positive Data Center

    by Josh Schaap

    Data centers are notoriously power hungry, with U.S. data centers responsible for over 91 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2013. That number is expected to climb to over 139 billion kilowatt-hours by 2020, requiring an incredible 54 power plants just to meet demand. The IT industry as a whole is now responsible for as much as 10 percent of the world’s total electricity usage!

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    Innovative Solutions For Government Clients: Part 2

    by RJ Tee

    In Part 1, we explained how the federal government is improving data center efficiency, lowering overall energy costs and optimizing their data center environments. In our next segment, we will dive deeper into solutions that can help meet those critical needs. Federal Sales Manager Jason Mollicone discusses how Server Technology’s expertise with intelligent PDUs positions the company to best provide solutions to the power challenges faced by the federal government. He says the need for remote monitoring and management has become a priority over the past couple of years. “We’re really starting to see those conversations come up in the federal space,” he says, explaining that Server Technology’s intelligent rack power solutions – from our Smart rack PDUs to our Switched PDUs - can help clients drill down to the outlet level, if needed, to see individual IT device power consumption and trends while allowing all necessary data points to be collected.

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    Three Things You Don’t Know About Your Own Data Center (But Should)

    by Josh Schaap

    This is your data center speaking. You think you know me pretty well, right? After all, you spend almost all of your time around me. Take a harder look, however, and you’ll see that there are some important things about me that you aren’t aware of!

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    The Big Decision: Smart vs. Switched Data Center PDUs

    by RJ Tee

    Conversely, a smart PDU will provide the same level of critical power and environmental data, but will not allow you to make changes to the outlet from a central location. Smart PDUs are more for monitoring and reporting purposes.

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    The One, The Only: HDOT With POPS

    by Josh Schaap

    Thanks to its modular design, each HDOT product type gives customers the flexibility to configure the location and quantity of C13 and C19 outlets on the PDU. As a result, there are literally thousands on thousands of configurations possible. To get a sense of how customizable our PDUs really are, check out our Build Your Own PDU tool which walks you through four easy steps to building the perfect power solution for your data center. It’s so remarkably easy that you can even build a PDU right from your tablet or phone.

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    Use Top Shelf PDUs for your Colocation

    by RJ Tee

    If there’s one need you can’t skirt around as a colocation provider, it’s rack-level power management. Power is expensive, and there is too much at stake in your mission critical environment to go without a reliable network of intelligent power distribution units (PDUs) that can track daily usage, prevent outages and respond to environmental alerts.

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    Innovative Power Solutions for Government Clients: Part 1

    by RJ Tee

    Helping the federal government operate more efficiently may sound like a Herculean task, but it’s one the Power Strategy Experts at Server Technology are well prepared to take on. With years of experience working with the federal government, we proudly help the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard, NASA, the Army, Navy and others with their data center power needs. There are some unique needs and initiatives driving change in the Federal data center space. We’ll explore some of those in this, the first of a two-part series.

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    Five Key Benefits of HDOT Switched POPS PDUs

    by RJ Tee

    Not that long ago, we told you about our customer-focused approach to design and production. We showed how our products often result from working closely with customers to determine their power distribution needs. Now, we’re excited to roll out the newest evolution in customer-driven design: the HDOT Switched POPS PDU. With this HDOT® Switched POPS® (Per Outlet Power Sensing) unit, we’ve unleashed one of the most powerful additions you can make to your data center floor, giving you complete control and the peace of mind that comes with it.

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    Data Center Power Management, From The Bottom Up

    by RJ Tee

    The best way to stay under (or even close) to an energy budget in the data center is to invest in a reliable data center power management solution. In our recent whitepaper, “Bottom-Up Data Center Power Management,” we detail one of the main ways to achieve these goals: the use of rack PDUs with outlet switching and outlet-level power measurement capabilities. The paper delves into the following topics: Managing IT Devices: IT devices housed in the data center must be managed not only for what they’re doing during operation, but also for their lifecycle from deployment through retirement and everything in between. Lock-out and Deployment: The three big questions of “where” relate to power, cooling and space required to support new devices in the data center. We’ll show you why the method of installing equipment simply where it fits isn’t an optimal approach, and why the locking out of outlets is a better way to go. Tracking: More easily manage deployments by configuring the basic characteristics of each piece of equipment. Managing Growth: Why it’s no longer valid to only think about growth in terms of the overall data center size or total number of data centers. Density: Learn about the extent to which the particular equipment in each rack plays a major role in the overall density of power usage in the data center. Capacity Planning: See how to set a threshold limit for capacity to allow for an alert, which results in an actual prediction for when a cabinet will run out of power or exceed a temperature threshold. Managing Efficiency: Learn about maintaining the balance between “going green” and “saving some green” in your wallet.

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    Monitoring At The Cabinet, Zone And Location Levels

    by Josh Schaap

    Pardon the cliché, but knowledge really is power, especially when you’re dealing with actual power in a data center. Take, for instance, the knowledge of how much power your cabinets need and how much power is available, or knowing the IT load. With that information in hand, you can solve a number of data center problems.

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    Data Center Operators: It’s Time To Stop Guessing About The Future

    by RJ Tee

    As a data center operator, you need to be able to predict the future. Your business is growing, and it’s relying on its data center more than ever.

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    The Impact of Increased Power Demand In Data Centers

    by RJ Tee

    Demands on data centers are growing with each passing day. When you add in the soaring cost of real estate, the result is that data centers are getting creative and adapting to create higher rack densities for future planning. To drive this point home, one only needs to look at power consumption over the past three years, particularly in emerging markets. This gives a better sense of power densities and capacity planning as it relates to the global growth of data centers.

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    Why Denser Data Centers Are Growing In Popularity

    by Josh Schaap

    An increasingly common conversation within the data center industry revolves around the need for flexibility balanced against the desire to save money. It’s getting harder to make the case that your enterprise needs more land for capacity expansion. At the same time, 27 percent of data center costs are for power, according to a DCD report in 2014. As you can imagine, the result has been a drive for proportionally higher server and power densities across the globe.

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    Twelve Key Features of Pro2: Part 2

    by Josh Schaap

    Last week, we talked about six of the key features of our PRO2 PDUs, which sport the latest in innovative design from Server Technology. This week, we’ll explore six more ways the PRO2 serves as the PDU built to not only meet customers’ needs today, but to ensure flexibility for the future.

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    Planning For Short And Long Term Variations in Power Usage

    by RJ Tee

    or centuries, philosophers and laymen have loved to ask the really big questions in life, even if they don’t always come up with satisfactory answers. Questions like “why are we here,” “how can the universe be infinite if it has a beginning” and, “if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does it still make a sound?” But it’s not always the big existential quandaries that keep data center managers up at night. Sometimes it’s the much more practical concerns, such as “what is the optimal density to provision for and what sorts of variations in power usage should I expect over time?” While this question may not rank up there with “what’s the meaning of life,” it’s still pretty important when you’re overseeing millions of dollars worth of capital investments.

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    Before Venturing Into Space, Consider Power Monitoring Solutions

    by RJ Tee

    As the human race blasts forward into the future, network professionals are looking for new territories in which to build innovative data centers. For instance, we recently posted a blog about the first waterborne data center—check out the article here if you haven’t yet. Now, the likes of NASA and organizations in the defense aerospace technology space are looking to set up shop in the final frontier.

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    All-In-1 Converged Power for Converged and HyperConverged Systems

    by RJ Tee

    Working as a data center IT professional is not unlike juggling chainsaws: there’s little room for error and a mistake could lead to disaster. While most data center IT pros are smart enough to stay away from flying power tools, they are tasked with juggling uptime, reliability, performance and efficiency. And the stakes are high.

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    Putting Your Excess Data Center Heat to Use

    by RJ Tee

    Your servers generate a ton of heat over the course of a single day. So, why not take this excess heat and pump it back into your office building during cold winter months? It’s a great way to save money and reduce waste at the same time. Think about it: A typical server running at 400 watts will generate almost 1,400 British thermal unit (Btu) per hour. A standard 20-by-20 room with a 10-foot ceiling only needs about 35,000 Btu per hour to maintain a 72 degree temperature. Since a large enterprise will run several thousand servers at a given time, it will generate more than enough energy to keep an entire building heated for an extended duration.

    Categories: Server Technology

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    Keeping Cool Under Pressure

    by Josh Schaap

    What you’re looking at is a long-term forecast of heat load by footprint, specifically made for the IT datacenter and the telecom market. Today, the upper limit of air-cooled compute infrastructures sits right at 4.5kW / ft^2, which aligns nicely with ASHRAE’s prediction. Call it a self-fulfilling prophecy or call it advancement in cooling and liquid immersion systems, the end result is a slow, but steady rise in compute densities over time.

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    Retrofitting Your Data Center? Don’t Use Starkiller Base As A Model (Spoiler Alert)

    by Josh Schaap

    In a recent post, we ruminated over the fatal design flaw in the Death Star’s thermal exhaust port that ultimately led to the destruction of the space station. As we mentioned, it’s difficult to pin blame on the Death Star architect alone, as all of that exhaust had to go somewhere...but, we digress. Check out the article and share your thoughts with us. Fast forward to The Force Awakens: The Galactic Empire has fallen, and the First Order has commandeered an abandoned ice planet in the Unknown Regions. Enter Starkiller Base, a massive facility capable of destroying not just planets, but entire star systems. Now, you’d think in the First Order’s quest to establish itself as the new head honchos in the galaxy that they’d at least not make the same mistake that the Empire did and leave their fancy new weapon vulnerable to attack. But, they did.

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    Is Capacity Increasing in High Density Data Centers?

    by RJ Tee

    here’s no crystal ball to predict the future of your data center’s power density, but if you have a clear understanding of your data center’s goals, you can cut through much of the confusion that revolves around density while being prepared for eventual increases. In recent years, high density seems to have become a relative term with various data center operators having their own ideas about what it really means. For a long time, the data center was an amalgam of old mainframes, networking racks and a variety of server/storage cabinets. Around this period – roughly 15 years ago – most racks were running the 1-3 KW range with power and cooling infrastructures being overbuilt to attain maximum uptime. By the time 2005 rolled around, data center managers were seeing increased rack power, especially on blade servers.

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    Mind the Energy Gap: The Demand for Electricity Continues to Grow

    by RJ Tee

    Northbridge Energy Partners recently released a new study titled “Mind the Gap: Energy Availability and the Disconnect with Data,” which highlights the growing demand for electricity amongst global data centers, its main drivers and what we can expect to see in terms of energy efficiency and consumption in the future. The report reveals some compelling statistics about the current state of data center energy consumption, which all network administrators should take note of. For instance, data centers represent one of the fastest growing electricity markets in the world and are responsible for about 3 percent of all electricity consumption annually. What’s more, data center electricity consumption has increased by about 100 percent over the past five years.

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    No Crystal Ball Needed: Data Center Predictions for 2016

    by Josh Schaap

    High-power density solutions will grow in popularity: On average, today’s data centers are reaching 20 years of age. As such, many of these legacy facilities cannot effectively or efficiently meet today’s power demands. Industry experts predict that many organizations will close down their data centers in favor of data center colocation solutions. But whether you decide to maintain your dedicated data center or move to a colocated solution, you can stay fully informed of your power usage effectiveness (PUE) by implementing smart power rack solutions that enable you to monitor and measure your power usage.

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    All Energy Resources Must be Monitored in the Data Center

    by RJ Tee

    These days, there’s no shortage of new and exciting alternative data center power options from which you can choose. Consider nuclear energy, for instance. A few years ago, nobody was using nuclear energy to power their data centers. But now, some facilities are starting to consider it.

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    Without Rack Power Monitoring Technology, You’re Skating on Thin Ice

    by RJ Tee

    Today, you may be feeling as if you’re skating like a professional, gliding across the ice without so much a care in the world. After all, your data center is efficient (enough) and you aren’t too far over budget. So what could possibly go wrong? The truth is that all it takes is one major power outage for things to quickly go south. Just look at what happened to the Telecity Group as an example of what can happen if you’re not vigilant. The company recently experienced two back-to-back power outages, which disrupted operations for its many customers that use the London Internet Exchange and accompanying AWS Direct Connect service. The scale of this outage was immense and it negatively impacted the company’s uptime, as you can easily imagine.

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    Google Soaks Up the Sun With Its Latest Data Center

    by Josh Schaap

    It might be winter, but Google and Duke Energy are catching rays in North Carolina with their new solar powered data center. And hopefully they’re wearing some shades, too, as the data center is contracted for a whopping 61 MW of solar power...now that’s a lot of UV. In fact, Gary Demasi, who oversees data center energy and location strategy at Google, wrote in a recent blog post that the volume of solar power Google’s invested in could power almost 12,000 average U.S. households.

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    Don't miss the DCS editorial: PDU Solutions in a (hyper)converged world

    by RJ Tee

    The modern data center places increasing pressure on 'humble' PDU and power management technologies to help deliver more value, in terms of issues such as capacity planning and reporting, higher density environments, and increased uptime. The latest solutions in the Server Technology portfolio are designed to address these, and other, data center optimization objectives.

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    Eco-Friendly Initiatives and Cost Efficiency Converge in the Data Center

    by Josh Schaap

    Listen up: “Going green” doesn’t mean you need to uproot your organization’s already established culture and values. The fact of the matter is that despite your organization’s feelings towards the state of environmental issues, taking on green initiatives in 2016 will help your company contribute to an important philanthropic issue, not to mention improve your organization’s future sustainability efforts.

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    Are Vampire Servers Silently Sucking Up Your Data Center Power Supply?

    by RJ Tee

    Halloween is nigh, which means data center administrators need to be on guard against the multitude of threats lurking in the server room, which are capable of inflicting harm on business operations.

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    Are You Ready To Meet Your Dream PDU?

    by RJ Tee

    Using this solution, you can confidently increase server densities and experiment with higher data center operating temperatures without having to worry about overloading your system and experiencing costly downtime. It’s the ideal solution whether you’re trying to improve your day to day operations, or plan for future growth in your facility as it will provide you with easy access to a steady stream of power usage and environmental data.

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    Data Center Power: It’s A Balancing Act

    by Josh Schaap

    Here you’ll find a wild mixture of 1U/2U and 3U servers as well as a bevy of switches from various manufacturers. Each device has multiple cables, as well as varying workloads and power draws. And it’s just about impossible to link cords with their specific devices.

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    Worried About Hurricanes? Protect Your DataCenter

    by Josh Schaap

    Back when Hurricane Sandy landed on the East Coast of the U.S. back in 2012, very few citizens and business owners were adequately prepared to handle the massive superstorm which caused a total of $65.5 billion in damage. Fast forward to 2015, and everyone is pretty well prepared for another major event. All along the Eastern seaboard, people are stocked up on supplies and ready to handle a major natural disaster. Just look at the massive amount of preparation that went into planning ahead for Hurricane Joaquin as proof.

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    Experience Data Center Power Savings You Can See

    by Josh Schaap

    Your server room is like a growing jungle that gets more complex—and expensive—with each device that you add onto your network. This jungle is mostly comprised of physical servers, some of which are running under capacity and some of which are at or near maximum volume. With this setup, your data is most likely spread out over a vast network that also contains a great deal of “comatose” servers.

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    Three Reasons You Should Care About Data Center Power Monitoring

    by RJ Tee

    You and your coworkers have a laundry list of new items that you need to purchase for your data center. You need new servers, racks, switches and cables.

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    Three Things You Should Know About Your Own Data Center

    by Josh Schaap

    This is your data center speaking. You think you know me pretty well, right? After all, you spend almost all of your time around me. Take a harder look, however, and you’ll see that there are some important things about me that you aren’t aware of!

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    Work Smarter Not Harder With HDOT Switched

    by Josh Schaap

    We are concerned about you and your data center. Your hair is turning grey from the stress of having to manage your facility. You spend long hours toiling in your data center, balancing circuits, performing system maintenance and trying to identify the root cause of system errors.

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    Help Your Data Center's Tenants Save on Power

    by RJ Tee

    Think about how hard it is trying to get your kids to turn off the lights when they’re not using them. Why don’t they listen? It’s because they don’t pay the bill; and usually, they don’t listen until you start asking them to chip in on the bill. The same problem exists in multi-tenant data centers, where tenants often have little incentives to reduce their energy usage. There is often a big divide between the expectations of tenants who pay premium rates for data center space, and building operators who must deal with exorbitantly high utility bills. Further, mulit-tenant data centers are some of the most egregious environmental offenders due to how much power they consume on a monthly basis.

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    You’ve Just Been Told To Slash Your Data Center Power Consumption. Now What?

    by RJ Tee

    The most important issue you’ll want to address first is the lack of communication that exists between you and the C-suite. Part of the reason your boss is upset is because he or she is paying a lot of money without really understanding why.

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    Want To Get Rid Of Your Zombie Servers? Here’s How.

    by Josh Schaap

    They’re silent. They’re always on. And they’re quietly eating up a large portion of your data center power budget. We’re talking, of course, about your zombie servers—that is, all of the servers that lay dormant in your facility yet play no part in your facility’s daily operations. It’s time to rid your data center of this problem. It may take some time, but as AOL recently proved, eliminating zombie servers from your network is feasible—and worth it. The company made headlines recently when it announced that over a five year period, it slashed 14,805 zombie servers from its data centers.

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    Three Hard-hitting Questions To Ask Before Purchasing Power Monitoring Software

    by RJ Tee

    If you’re in the market for data center power monitoring software, you’re already taking a big step towards creating a more resilient, and efficient, network. It’s important to remember before making a purchase, however, that not all data center power management solutions are capable of providing the same level of support.

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    Let’s Talk About Your Business’ Energy Usage

    by RJ Tee

    The topic of electricity prices are on just about everyone’s mind in southern California these days. That’s because the California Public Utilities Commission may soon ask local utility providers to adopt a new time-based payment system that will significantly drive up prices during peak times. Under this plan, which could go into effect in 2019, electricity rates could change depending on the time of day, and the time of year. Electricity will be more expensive when it is in peak demand, and less expensive when it is not.

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    Avoid Embarrassing Power Mishaps In Your Data Center

    by RJ Tee

    Stop and think about all of the critical processes that run through your data center. From enterprise communications like VoIP and email to the WiFi that powers your business’s network, your data center is responsible for facilitating a great deal of important critical tasks.

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    Washington Power Outage Should Be a Wakeup Call for Businesses

    by RJ Tee

    On April 6, the unthinkable happened in Washington, D.C.: The lights went dark in the White House when a local power transmission line failed and sent a cascading power failure across our nation’s capital. Fortunately, the White House’s backup power generator kicked in almost immediately, which was able to restore power. However, several federal buildings and surrounding academic institutions were left without electricity for several hours following the event.

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    Data Center Consolidation: A Great Way To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

    by Josh Schaap

    Data Center Consolidation: A great way to reduce your carbon footprint.

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    Study Shows Enterprise Data Centers Experience More Downtime Than Co-location Centers

    by RJ Tee

    Many organizations are struggling with the question of whether to outsource their data center infrastructure and operations to a managed colocation center. But as a data center professional, you know that this move would be harmful for your organization. Your goal is to keep your network in-house, under your close supervision. In fact, your job depends on it.

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    Load Balancing Made Simple

    by RJ Tee

    Whether you’re deploying fully populated or partially filled racks, keeping loads balanced is important from both a power and networking perspective. But getting loads balanced can be difficult. You could try to plug in the same number of devices per branch, but that assumes all equipment is pulling the same load. Or you could install the equipment; power up your PDU and pull up branch load information; then go unplug equipment, find the right length of power cord, and re-plug in the equipment to rebalance the loads.

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    Question of the Month: How Can I Ensure Uptime in My Unpredictable Data Center?

    by Josh Schaap

    Recently, a lot of customers have been asking us here at Server Technology about maximizing uptime. Customers want to know: With the multitude of power-related challenges facing data centers today, like unplanned outages; increasing security threats; new, relatively untested technologies such as SDN; and the ongoing threat of natural disasters, is striving for constant uptime a realistic goal or a pipe dream? Many feel that they are fighting a losing battle against this slew of challenges.

    Categories: Server Technology