When it comes to data center management, what was once lumped under the umbrella of data center monitoring has now become one of the largest standalone categories today – data center power. Because let’s face it; every data center provider out there is pounding the pavement to find the best ways to curb data center power consumption.
“Things have really changed in the past 10 years with regard to data center power,” Mark Harris, vice president of marketing at Server Technology, told TMCnet. “Power itself has become a critical system requirement. It’s no longer a generic category within the data center. People actually care greatly about the quality and reliability and intelligence of the PDUs they’re installing, because of the impact on uptime, energy efficiency, capacity and the bottom line.”
Accordingly, Harris will be joined by Bobby Brown, vice president of operations, at GoGrid next week at Uptime Institute Symposium, taking place in Santa Clara, Calif., May 14-17, to discuss data center power and management in a session titled “Power as a Mission Critical System.” The session will explore recent green IT and sustainability initiatives, required regulatory mandates, and what made GoGrid enlist the help of Server Technology (News - Alert), a leading provider of data center power distribution units.
GoGrid, a cloud hosting and hybrid hosting provider, first enlisted the help of Server Technology when it realized that its brands of PDUs were not as mature as they could be. Conversely, GoGrid was in search of PDUs that could manage remote data centers, could provide long-term reliability, and exhibited higher density and minimal physical impacts. Further, the company was hoping to develop an understanding about rack level power usage and pro-active power management and to leverage its relationship with its chosen co-lo, Equinix (News - Alert), for acquisition, familiarity, and support.
That’s where Server Technology came in.
By deploying Server Technology’s Sentry Power System (Sentry PDU hardware and Sentry Power Manager software), GoGrid was able to push out its own products faster and enjoy cost savings and increased efficiencies.
In addition to shedding light on its partnership with GoGrid at Uptime Institute, Server Technology is looking forward to providing some insights as to where the industry is headed and where Server Technology fits into these emerging trends.
“PDUs are becoming less ‘commodity’ in nature when it comes to overall value,” Harris said. “Sure, the technology of the strip itself looks similar at a feature by feature level, but there is a ton of business value that you must look for when selecting PDUs. The vendor’s overall reliability and business practices, the vendor’s investments in quality engineering designs for hotter and higher power PDUs, the availability of PDUs in a wealth of configurations, the expertise of the vendors sales and support teams ‘after the sale’, overall PDU reliability over long periods of time (years), the concept of a PDU supplier being a fully functional component of maturing DCIM strategies and the need for vendors like Server Technology to specifically engineer ‘DCIM-Ready’ solutions (like our Sentry CDUs and Sentry Power Manager). The industry IS adopting DCIM over the coming year, and the ability for PDU vendors to directly support these needs ‘out of the box’ will be essential.”
Moreover Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) is transforming the way that data centers will run, specifically in that data center equipment choices that are made today have to live and need to support the next generation of data center management.
According to Harris, for the past five years, IT purchasers have spent so much time evaluating and deploying higher density computing servers and blade centers, storage arrays and dense networking technologies, “only to relegate much of the acquisition of the power-chain components to their purchasing agents and other non-IT organizations, as if unimportant or commodity in nature.”
“To me, it's ironic to spend $75,000 to $100,000 or more on a rack full of the latest dense computing gear, only to allow it to be powered with 'the cheapest and most basic power-strip' that could be found,” he said. “No performance or reliability concerns, no measurement or metric accuracy. Just wires and sheet metal. Ironic, no?”
“In 2012 and going forward, every time we plan to purchase a data center component, we all need to be asking the question: How will this infrastructure component play in my data center infrastructure management plan?,” he added. “We need to ask about energy intelligence and awareness as a fundamental requirement of the power-chain. We need to test our understanding about power-chain component reliability in a 'new' world of IT racks that draw 8, 12, or in some cases 20+ KILOWATTS each. Remember, data centers are also running hotter, 50-degrees Centigrade on the hot side is being seen, and 60-degrees C is fast approaching. (That heat directly affects power-chain reliability as well).”
Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli