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Why Data Centers Should Be Using Colored PDUs

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In a world where technology moves at a lightning pace and everything is becoming more and more advanced, sometimes, it is best to get back to basics.  Color coding could not possibly sound more “old school” or basic but that does not mean it isn’t an invaluable tool.  Downtime is the sworn enemy of every data center because it is frustrating and costly but, unfortunately, many data centers do experience downtime each year.  While focusing on improving things like uninterruptible power supply will help prevent downtime the fact of the matter is that a huge percentage of downtime is the result of human error.  Preventable human error.  By color coding your PDU you can help prevent human error and maximize uptime for the benefit of your data center and business.

Start by using separate colors to identify your A and B power feeds.  By doing this it makes working on your power supplies and in your racks easier not only for you but for technicians as well.  It will be a significant time saver by eliminating confusion and will also help prevent needless outages that lead to downtime.  In addition to clearly defining which power supply is which through color coding, you can also distinguish voltages.    For those looking to further optimize the use of color, facilities can even opt to “white out” their server racks and distribution cabinets because white is a reflective color and by using all white it will reduce a data center’s lighting needs dramatically. Raritan offers a variety of color coded products to make the switch as easy as possible.

How big of a difference will color coding really make?  Just imagine giving instructions to a technician and telling them to look for the red cord in the rack.  It is that simple.  No longer will they need to search and cross their fingers that they have selected the correct cord.  Only to realize that – oops – it actually was the wrong cord and caused an unexpected outage.  Color coding eliminates the guessing game which may not sound by much but Datacenter Knowledge points out just how significant it really is, “More than 90% of the data center operators responding to a recent survey reported that their data center had at least one unplanned outage in the past two years (Ponemon Institute)…The overwhelming majority of outages were attributed to human error.”  By color coding your PDU, routine maintenance and monitoring is no longer daunting and maintaining uptime is a much easier undertaking which is something every data center can appreciate.




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