The Raritan Blog

Gathering Intel on Data Center Power Consumption

Posted on April 3, 2013 by Richard Brooke  |  Comment (0)

Raritan’s iPDUs plus Power IQ® Software lead to lower Data Center Opex

Data-Center-Power-Management

What if, the next time you opened your home electric bill, instead of a lump sum of kilowatt-hours, you found an itemized list of every electrical appliance — down to each and every light bulb—that drew power that month, and how much you’re spending to run it? Instead of shrugging and hunting down your checkbook, you would have useful information you could use to drive that bill down.

You would know what it’s costing to keep that spare freezer in the basement. You’d know exactly who left the garage light on all night, or if your air conditioner was really living up to its energy star rating. You could take steps to avoid overpaying, enforce family policies, and make smarter purchases.

That’s just a glimpse of what can be done now for the data center, with the wealth of information pumped out by Raritan iPDUs. These units continually generate tons of real-time data down to the circuit-breaker or the outlet level, if you need it. In addition to your industry-standard amperage reading, these intelligent strips can push a tremendous amount of granular data through one IP drop. Connected to environmental sensors, they can continually report on temperature, humidity, open-closed contact status, airflow, and CO2 level as well. They can even stream a web cam feed.

Far from being TMI, this data is what empowers you equip every rack with just the right amount of cooling, for example.  And that’s not small potatoes: According to Gartner, data centers save four percent of their cooling budget for every degree they can raise ambient temperature.  A related example: that iPDU can also tell you —with 1% accuracy— how many kwH you’re consuming every month to power any particular blade server.  And since you’re billed in KwH, you’ve now got an apples-to-apples comparison between consumption and cost, or between different hardware models and configurations.

Knowing which aisles are hot, and which are not

With a clickable, real-time display on the PDU and the capacity for up to eight temperature and eight humidity sensors, you can discover aisle-specific hot spots to more accurately concentrate your cooling.  You can determine if there’s a systemic problem, or just a vent, for example, that’s been blocked by a carelessly placed briefcase.  You can keep humidity levels high enough to prevent electrostatic discharge, and low enough to discourage hardware corrosion and with that, early system and component failure.

Raritan’s Power IQ software is what takes in all this data from Raritan’s, as well as competitors’, intelligent PDUs, analyzes it, and makes it actionable. It can aggregate and analyze data across multiple centers in multiple sites, and even generate ODBC-exportable reports.

In my next blog, we’ll talk a bit more about Power IQ and Raritan’s EMX controller, which allow you to set thresholds, alerts, and generally inject invaluable smarts into one of the dumbest things in your data center—the rack.

Click here to learn more about Raritan’s data center power management solutions

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