When it comes to rack-level power distribution units (PDU), a data center manager doesn’t buy one PDU at a time any more – he or she purchases hundreds or thousands which can make PDU management a fairly cumbersome task.
“What ended up happening is that PDUs, as they became commoditized over the years, look great at a trade show; they look great when you look at the pretty Web interface GUI at a demonstration. But, when you get them home, back to your data center, you realize you are probably never really going to use those individual PDU features,” Mark Harris, vice president of marketing at Server Technology (News - Alert), told TMCnet. “You are going to want to approach your entire data center as one system. You want to manage power for the data center. You don’t want to manage power at the racks or machine level.”
And that’s where Server Technology’s latest innovation, Sentry Power System, comes in. Unveiled earlier this month, Sentry Power System integrates Server Technology’s Sentry family of cabinet PDUs with Sentry Power Manager (SPM) software through Server Technology’s exclusive SNAP technology to create a single system of power.
Having been in the industry for over 25 years, Server Technology listened to its customers and the message that clearly resonated was that the rack-level PDU business is much more demanding than “mere sheet metal and wires,” according to Harris. Conversely, modern data center power delivery function is about intelligence, reliability and simplicity. With Sentry Power System, customers can now enjoy the industry’s most complete rack-level power management solution.
“People don’t want to acknowledge that when you put 500 PDUs in your data center, that’s 500 more things to manage. There are many data centers that for years didn’t even connect the PDUs because they didn’t want to own the burden of managing them,” Harris said. “We have gotten past those days and now they have 500 or 1,000 PDUs on the network and each one needs firmware updates and management and configuration parameters. It just becomes overwhelming.”
“We looked at our customers and we asked them what is it that you’d really like us to solve? The collective answer was that they really needed us to help them take a more homogenous view of management – making it look like a system rather than 500 PDUs,” he added.
One of the chief benefits of Sentry Power System is that when coupled with SNAP, it enables true Plug and Play functionality and the ability to easily manage hundreds or thousands of PDUs across the enterprise from a single management console, according to company officials. It also offers simple PDU auto discovery, auto configuration, hierarchical change management and auto firmware updates across the network along with all the capabilities found in previous versions of SPM including power control and state management, advanced reporting and trending, and power and environmental alarming.
Sentry Power System, featuring SNAP, is included in all shipped products today and is delivered as two components: SPM version 5.1 software/management application and Sentry CDUs, the cabinet hardware power distribution units, with firmware 6.1.
“It’s a critical infrastructure component,” Harris said. “It’s not a nice to have; it’s a must have.” Although Sentry Power System has only been on the market for a few weeks now, Server Technology has no doubt that its current and prospective customers will be clamoring to get their hands on the latest solution. Customers will immediately see that Sentry Power System serves as a major differentiator and addresses a problem in the PDU space that was previously ignored, Harris said.
“They are going to look and this and say I can now manage all 500 PDUs as a system,” he said. “That reduces my management headache tenfold. The PDUs themselves will maintain their own firmware versions, scheduling, and alarms.”
“The concept of one PDU is fine, but to think about those concepts across 500 PDUs has just been daunting,” he added. “Prospects that we talk to have said they love the fact that we are putting a single management umbrella on top of the whole population.”
Edited by Jamie Epstein