Laura Viars Rackmount Solutions Expert

Data Center Power | SME Strategies

Laura Viars Rackmount Solutions ExpertWhich newer strategies to better manage, organize and maintain data center power are better suited for small and midsized enterprises?

Many of the advanced monitoring solutions in a large data center might be overkill for SME’s, as typically their loads aren’t so large as to require the level of detail and control that these applications provide. SME’s may choose to look more closely at the more basic, yet still effective monitoring and alarm solutions that come along standard with most battery back up systems. Fortunately, most newer PDUs and UPSes have many of the desirable features that ones for larger scale applications do such as color coded casings and environmental monitoring capabilities, while still being functional as an independent unit (as opposed to being networked to other PDU’s).

What are established strategies for power management that some enterprises don’t take advantage of or utilize as much as possible?

Many DC managers do not look as closely as they should to how their data center power is currently being distributed. Oftentimes, information regarding power consumption is based off of faceplate estimates rather than actual usage, and while this is a conservative way to plan for capacity, it is not an efficient one. It is very common for equipment to consume far less power than the faceplate estimate, and planning based upon those numbers can result in wasted power (read: wasted money). Many of these newer, feature-rich data center power management applications allow you to see exactly how much power a single device is actually using, and can make recommendations as to where you have capacity to incorporate new servers. They can also pinpoint potential areas of concern. Since many of these do support mixed environments (the combining of various 3rd party brands across your equipment), it is prudent for data center managers not to overlook the advanced functionality of their power management systems.

What general tips or advice would you recommend to enterprises that want to achieve better data center power management?

– Invest in – and fully utilize! – current power management software. Realizing the value and full potential of these programs will allow you to cut costs overall on power consumption, and greatly increase the ease of discovering trends in power usage. In turn, it will allow you to more effectively allocate power to equipment, and provide a single interface to monitor and manage your equipment.

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