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How DCIM Can Save Energy and Money

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If you utilize computers that consume a high amount of energy, efficiency is a major concern when it comes to evaluating what your return on investment will be. Even a slight change in the consumption of energy can make a significant difference, and if your organization does not have measure implemented to detect these modulations in power efficiency, your ROI calculation could be inaccurate. There are many common causes of power usage efficiency (PUE) shifts, such as for example a particularly hot day causing equipment to heat up more than usual.

Have No Fear, DCIM Is Here

Thankfully, in this modern age there is a kind of software you can install that will monitor all of the slight changes that take place in a system, and these can then be traced back to their root causes. Data center infrastructure management will give you information about all of the different kinds of data and the fluctuations taking place in your infrastructure, all on a real-time basis. DCIM software will not only give you an overall picture of energy usage throughout your infrastructure; it can also look at the subsystem level, revealing even the minute causes of energy loss or mismanagement.

An Example of DCIM Applied to Energy Savings

Take the example of a very hot day. As the temperature rises throughout the day, your equipment must use additional energy to keep cool and function properly. If these adjustments go undetected, there could be a sharp rise in the PUE figure. Any shift in PUE needs to be accounted for in order to have reliable predictions of ROI. Installing data center infrastructure management software can give you a picture of the shifts in PUE. If a major difference is detected at a certain time, the next step is to diagnose possible causes of the problem. In the case of a hot day, it could be that the ventilation or cooling system needs to be adjusted. Without DCIM, you would not know that PUE was fluctuating, and thus you would be unable to pinpoint the cause of the loss of ROI.

DCIM is Green

DCIM does more than just save your organization money. By being able to understand the way power is processed in your infrastructure, you can be better prepared to implement changes that will maximize efficiency. Maximum efficiency equates to minimum energy consumption, and that will reduce the overall footprint your organization leaves on the environment.

DCIM saves energy and money and is good for the environment. Any organization using a data center with a complex infrastructure will benefit from DCIM software.

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3 Signs That Point to Power Quality Issues

Advanced PDU

Electrically powered devices are so run of the mill nowadays, it’s easy to write off a device’s malfunctioning or breaking down as having to do with the device itself. This is not, however, always the case. Many of the common problems we encounter with our electronic devices,whether it’s a computer, an electrical motor, or even the lights in your house or office, can be traced to what is called power quality. Power quality issues are a complex matter that should be dealt with by a power management professional. Here are some common malfunctions that may indicate the need to evaluate possible power quality based causes:

Equipment Running Hot and Overheating

A very common problem people run into with their electronics is that the device becomes hot to the touch. While it is normal for devices to generate heat from the high amount of energy running through them, it is standard today for devices to have cooling measures installed, such as the cooling fans you see on PC’s and laptops. If your device is getting so hot that it cannot function, this could not only hurt your business, but could also pose a fire hazard. If your device has no detectable flaws or is brand new, the cause of the overheating is likely related to power quality.

Poor Network Communications

It is important to be able to communicate information across networks in a speedy and efficient manner. Of course, networks themselves utilize a lot of energy, and if the network is buggy or running slowly, it could be that the power source is experiencing some sort of quality issue. If you have had a network specialist check out all your connections and network elements and they found nothing wrong, then the culprit is most likely a problem with power quality.

Sudden Shutdown of Equipment

Everybody has experienced the horrible gut-sinking feeling that happens when a document or file that has had a lot of work put into it is lost in a power surge or equipment failure. These kinds of problems are almost always a result of power quality issues. If you are constantly experiencing outages or surges, it is time to get the power source evaluated.

Don’t Let Power Quality Be an Issue

There are measures you can take to be better prepared for these problems and to properly diagnose them. Power monitoring software can capture information from different meters, allowing you to hone in on the source of the problem. Getting an energy management professional to do periodic assessments can also help prevent power quality issues before they occur. Getting the right professional and monitoring software is a worthwhile investment that will save you money in the long run.

 

 

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3 Qualities of a Successful Data Center

DCIM

 

As data centers continue to evolve and expand, the considerations a manager needs to take into account continue to increase. How does one balance an expanding consumption with important sustainability needs? What is one to make of the recent rise in cloud computing? What security challenges must a manager of a data center face today, and how does one prepare to handle them effectively? Here are some key qualities that any successful and effective data center will have.

 

Strong Security Protocol

In a study commissioned by Emerson Network Power in 2010, it was found that 2 percent of downtime incidents were security-related. By 2015, this number had risen to a whopping 22 percent. Despite the rise in hacking incidents, new countermeasures to protect sensitive data have also come into practice. One of these measures is the use of out-of-network data pods. These data pods operate completely separately from the greater network, and their security can be even further bolstered by separate power and thermal management systems.

Fully Utilize a Server’s Capacity

In the age of cloud computing, networks can extend beyond the local server to utilize remote internet servers. This affords data center managers a great opportunity to further optimize the efficiency of a network. One model organizations have explored is a shared service model. Many servers use only five to fifteen percent of their computing capacity. If you have such a server, the rest of this capacity can be shared with other organizations, while you reap a portion of the benefits. Furthermore, this extra capacity can even be sold on the open market for full profits. A data center that is funded by the rent paid by those sharing the extra capacity is running on a self-support model, and it is a great way to save your organization money.

Sustainability Equals Energy Efficiency

When you adopt a more sustainable model for the management of your data center, it saves your organization money in the long term. UPS systems can run at a much higher efficiency if they are run with active inverter eco-mode, which will switch the inverter to idle at appropriate times. Using sources of alternative energy such as wind and solar power will not only reduce your organization’s carbon footprint, but it will save you on your electric bill.

These are just a few tips that you should consider implementing in your data center. A fortress-like set of security measures protecting a fully utilized server can all be run on clean energy. A data center utilizing these three strategies will be more efficient and more effective.

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Balancing the Data Power Consumption in Your Data Center

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Every business wants to get more productivity out of its employees and systems. If you had a team of 12 people, and only four were doing most of the work, you might get rid of the eight who weren’t being used. Of course, before you do, you might try to balance their workload to utilize every available piece of manpower. Proper power distribution is just as important in your data center to ensure high performance every day. Energy efficiency ensures that every piece of your data center is carrying its own weight and doing the most for your organization.

 

Understanding Power Loads

Think of a power strip with 12 outlets, in which the strip is divided into three sections. Each section is one phase which distributes power across the strip. If you were to plug in four devices, you might plug them in a sequence. In this simplified example, they would be plugged into one section. Thus, you have one phase bearing the entire power load.

A better method would be to plug one piece of equipment into each section, with one section getting the extra plug. This balances the power load across the strip which maximizes efficiency of your data system. When you get even deeper into balancing the exact wattage across the strip, you completely use up all the power that is coming into your system, while adding the most units to your data center.

Understanding the power load of your data center keeps you from wasting electricity, which is not only good for your business, but for the environment as well. In today’s business world, it’s just as important to your branding image to be eco-friendly, as it is to be a leader in your industry. Retrofitting or updating your data center to be balanced in its power usage takes your organization forward.

Don’t Get Complacent

Once you’ve set up your data center, you can’t stop analyzing the power load. Every time you add equipment, you should be rechecking the power load.There are a number of tools that you can implement within your system to ensure peak performance and to monitor loads. When you’re dealing with sensitive technology, you need to be proactive. Start with your data center to keep your system operating at its best. Get an energy audit to see how your organization can do better. Your dependence on technology is only going to increase. Update your system now for better performance as you grow.

 

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The Way the Energy Storage Industry Is Changing

Advanced PDU

According to Forbes, energy storage technology could render utility companies unrecognizable within the 21st century. Much of the news is all about battery technology, which is making headlines thanks to electric vehicles. Batteries are much more portable and usable in today’s market, and just like smartphones and computers, the technology is only going to get better.

Companies Making Investments

Tesla Motors has been one of the pioneers in battery technology, not only providing energy storage for cars, but also for homes and businesses. Tesla Motors made a major announcement about developing equipment which would store solar electricity. This would allow backup power during regulated times or when the system goes offline. Tesla Motors is not the only company investing in energy storage. Next Era Energy announced their intention to invest about $100 million in the industry over the next year.

The Technology Driving the Changes

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) is the game-changer in the industry. The lead acid technology, which is the what has dominated the battery industry, is much more expensive than the Li-ion technology. In addition, Li-ion batteries are much smaller and last much longer. The Li-ion batteries act much like a smartphone battery, which can be measured as it charges or is used. This gives the user more information about the power that is provided. A Li-ion battery has more functionality and usability.

More Than Batteries

Li-ion batteries are changing the terrain when it comes to power, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle. There are other technologies needed to convert power from DC to AC and back. The technical name for these applications are rectifiers and inverters. It’s also going to take ways to get the energy from solar panels to the battery pack, whether it’s in a garage or business. Some experts believe that utility companies may also be able to tap into the power of Li-ion batteries, using it to reduce dependence on natural gas.

Don’t forget that these new units will require housing and hardware to store and during installation. There’s also software that integrates components, to avoid too much demand on a battery or to know when charging is required. The industry is wide open. Your business can take advantage of Li-ion battery technology that is available today to save space in your data center and give you better performance in the long run. Installation is simple and easy. Shift your energy use to Li-ion applications that provide more functionality and last longer than traditional batteries to see the benefits in your business.

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Software to Boost Data Center Infrastructure Management

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Every aspect of your organization is expected to operate at top efficiency. This includes your data center. With Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) systems, your organization certainly has a lot of information which can keep your network up to speed. Unfortunately, DCIM solutions don’t have all the data your team needs. That’s where Automated Infrastructure Management steps in. Together, DCIM and AIM give your business the resources for an efficient and productive network. Learn why your data center needs DCIM and AIM together.

 

Using a DCIM Tool

Many of today’s data centers started out in a small closet, but over time have grown to take up an entire room to an entire building. One person cannot physically monitor every aspect of the network. DCIM solutions give an overview of the data center to let your IT department have command and control of the system, do better asset management, and allot resources more effectively. DCIM helps with forecasting future needs, which lets your business budget your IT needs better. With DCIM, a manager can also tell which equipment is using too much electricity to reduce utility bills.

How Does the AIM System Increase Data Center Information?

Although the DCIM provides a great deal of information, it won’t give your IT team information about the physical infrastructure. Many times, this information is kept in spreadsheets that quickly become outdated as new cables get moved around. With an AIM system, IT personnel can quickly identify problems, because the system can include work orders and blink at the location. It saves time by giving you almost a picture of your network. The AIM takes the guesswork out of which cables are plugged into with ports. It’s automatically updated every time a change is made.

Integrating AIM Into a DCIM

The DCIM and AIM systems talk to each other through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). These APIs need to be customized to each data center infrastructure. Open APIs give the most flexibility over proprietary ones. Once the APIs are in place, data center managers have more information to effectively control the network, now and in the future.

Give your team the resources for planning, implementation, and upgrades to the data center. Let your network grow with your business at the rate your budget allows. Ensure that the system is operating at peak performance without using too much electricity and having downtime for repairs. Choose an AIM that boosts the information received from the DCIM to keep your business running smoothly.

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What Changes Are in Store for Data Centers With Lithium-ion Batteries?

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Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries offer significant benefits over the traditional valve-regulated lead-acid batteries (VRLA) used in data centers. For smaller centers, like those in medium to small businesses, the change could be very dramatic. Here are six reasons your organization should consider making the switch.

Less Space Required

VRLA batteries require a lot of space. Some companies even build separate battery rooms to house the power system. Li-ion batteries can reduce the space needed by about two-thirds. Think about having more IT space to grow your network.

Cooling Costs Reduction

The equipment in a data center can tolerate higher temperatures than the VRLA battery. If you are raising the temperature in your data center to reduce your costs, it’s probably that the VRLA batteries in the same room will need to be replaced quicker because those batteries cannot tolerate the heat. Li-ion batteries are better equipped to be in the same room as your other equipment without deteriorating as quick as their VRLA equivalent.

Scalability for Growth

Many companies today are using modules to grow their system over time. Li-ion batteries are much more scalable and adaptable into the architecture that is being designed for data centers. Instead of worrying about where your organization needs to house more equipment and batteries to expand, the Li-ion batteries provide more options. Avoid costly remodeling when your business is ready to add on to your data center.

Better Performance

Li-ion batteries last much longer than VRLA batteries, almost twice as long. Because the Li-ion batteries come with better monitoring systems, it’s easier for an IT team to measure the health of the battery and know when it needs to be replaced. It’s much like the battery monitoring system of your smartphone, while the VRLA is similar to your car battery. You never know when it might fail, leaving you stranded. Less maintenance and concern come with better performance. This lets your staff focus concern on higher priority ticket items.

Environmentally Friendly

By reducing the cooling costs and space requirements of a network, it adds to the eco-friendly statistics of your organization which cannot be overlooked in today’s business environments. Clients are looking for businesses which do care about their energy use and power consumption Li-ion batteries offer some unique features to help reduce the carbon footprint of your business.

Less Replacement Costs

VRLA batteries are often replaced every five to six years, even though it should have a life of about 10 years. This is because of the unpredictability of the battery. An Li-ion battery lasts much longer than 10 years, which reduces battery replacement costs.

 

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The Power Rating of a Rack PDU Is Not Always the Load Capacity

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Even if you aren’t an IT specialist, you probably understand circuit breakers and electricity. Each breaker is designed to handle a specific power load. When that capacity is overloaded, the breaker trips and shuts off the electricity to the circuit. The same thing happens with a rack power distribution unit (PDU) that distributes the electrical power to your computers and network. By understanding how the power rating differs from the load capacity, your organization can prevent overloading the PDUs that keep your computers operating efficiently.

Power Rating

One issue in power ratings when it comes to PDUs is that North America and Europe label the capacity differently. Outside of North America, the circuits are simply labeled as the rated capacity; you may see one that says 16A or 32A. In North America, manufacturers label the units with their maximum load capacity.

Why is this a problem? It’s because the PDU is actually designed to be loaded at only 80 percent of their capacity. This is referred to as a derated value or the load capacity. Thus, if you have a 20A PDU, it’s actual load capacity is only 16A. While the PDU may certainly carry 20A for a limited time, eventually it will trip and the system will go down.

Simplify the Network

Although there are formulas which let your IT manager calculate the load capacity and voltage that is appropriate for each section of the PDU, there is a much easier method to keep your system balanced. An intelligent PDU takes the guesswork and math out of the capacity equation.

In today’s business world, your network and computers need to be fully functional and operational when you need them to be. Keeping the power load evenly distributed ensures that your IT department doesn’t go down when you need it most. It also helps your organization use electricity more efficiently to save money. What business couldn’t use more time and money?

Intelligent PDUs also provide more benefits such as metering that alerts the team to potential problems. Your IT department has access to logs which help them see erratic power consumption or ghost servers. By understanding that the power rating is not necessarily the load capacity, you can more evenly distribute power and take steps to grow your system as needed. Instead of buying more equipment than you need or not having enough, with intelligent PDUs, a business can operate with purpose. Learn how an intelligent PDU would upgrade the network in your organization.

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Benefits of Intelligent Metering With a Rack PDU

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Having multiple power units can make your IT structure more efficient, but only when you know how much energy is being used by each track. You have to manage your power capacity by tracking energy use. It’s not only good for your system, but it’s better for the environment when you balance how much power each unit is putting out.

Intelligent rack power distribution units (iPDU) have many added features over a non-intelligent PDU that let you track the voltage, current, power, and energy usage within your own IT infrastructure. Metering helps your organization become more efficient and increase network availability. This option is available at the inlet, outlet, and PDU level. Here are the reasons to choose an intelligent PDU that offers metering.

1. Inlet Metering – This feature lets users see power usage and capacity within each rack to provision equipment more effectively. Your IT administrators can prevent overloading circuits and calculate the power usage effectiveness to boost your system’s efficiency.

2. Outlet Metering – With this feature, you can also see power usage and capacity at the rack, assisting in what the inlet metering provides, but outlet metering helps your team find underutilized servers and to allocate costs usage to specific customers. It also helps identify ghost servers and compare your IT efficiency.

3. Rack PDU Branch Circuit Metering – Practically every system runs the risk of being overloaded, which leads to tripping. When your team is adding more circuits, this feature prevents circuits from being heavily loaded. There is less chance of experiencing downtime from tripping a breaker. If your organization uses high-power consumption components, this helps the data center manager keep your entire system balanced. It sends an alert based on the threshold your team sets up if the circuit is becoming overloaded.

4. Circuit Breaker Monitoring – When you have multiple units, it can be difficult to quickly find a circuit breaker that has tripped. Metering monitors this event to allow your team to quickly reset the breaker and get back to business.

Using an iPDU helps your business grow more efficiently, because you can add units and ensure you won’t overload your current system. You have the knowledge to keep up with your energy needs. Today’s businesses cannot afford to use energy inefficiently. It increases your utility costs, and it keeps your organization from being eco-friendly, which it important to today’s consumers. Take charge of your IT system with intelligent rack power distribution units that give you more options in energy consumption. Use the resources of the planet wisely and save money and time in your company.

 

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Solve IT Issues in the Field With Prefabricated Data Centers

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Oil and gas exploration isn’t limited to hospitable sites near big cities. It’s more likely your business will face harsh conditions like a desert or remote area without access to technology. Even though the terrain is rugged, you still have IT needs that meet all industry regulations and requirements. The solution is a prefabricated data center built to meet the needs of the environment where your team is working.

Solving the Issues of the Oil and Gas Industry

Building a traditional data center can be costly and time consuming. In the oil and gas industry, it’s understood that cost constraints are one of the biggest concerns when meeting the needs of today’s businesses. Then there may other regulations that your organization will be subject to, like environmental concerns and privacy issues. A prefabricated data center addresses these problems while still providing predictability, flexibility, and speed.

Specifications of a Prefabricated Data Center

A prefabricated data center comes in module format, containing power, cooling elements, and IT products that can be reconfigured as your business needs change. Each section is carefully constructed to exact ISO specifications in a factory, then transported to your site as one unit. Your prefabricated data center is designed to fit what your organization needs it to do. When you place your unit in the environment it will be housed, specific architecture is provided to protect your unit against the elements.

Instead of using components from multiple vendors and piecing together parts to make up your infrastructure, the prefabricated data center comes ready to go. The time frame to implement the unit is reduced by about 60 percent. Not only does this help your organization get started quicker, it keeps your maintenance costs lower because all the parts come from the same place and there are no compatibility or non-compatibility issues when using different components. This system is more predictable and reliable than a greenfield deployment or brownfield expansion.

Get the Technology Your Business Needs

The oil and gas industry has benefited from technology as much as any other industry. It’s let businesses reach areas and find natural resources in parts of the world never before imagined. Take the next step with your business and save money on your IT infrastructure when you implement a prefabricated data center to keep up with the way you do business. Stop wasting time and your own resources to get the technology you want to simplify your management of the IT needed in the field.

 

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