The Raritan Blog

2024 Will be a Big Year for Greater Analytics Automation in the Data Center. Here’s How

July 2, 2024

Data centers are being reimagined to accommodate the proliferation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). 

Because of these new technologies, demand at U.S. data centers alone is projected to double by 2030. They require higher processing power and greater density, pushing data center operators to strive for greater efficiency, reliability, and scalability at a time when they are facing staffing challenges. However, embedded power quality measurement capabilities, audit tracking, and performance analytics afforded by next-generation intelligent rack PDUs, along with other key features, present opportunities to revolutionize the way data centers operate. Harnessing these powerful tools can yield tremendous results, including optimized energy usage, a smaller carbon footprint, enhanced security, widespread task automation, and predictive maintenance. 

This year will see major leaps in data center analytics automation thanks to next-generation intelligent rack PDUs. Here, we will explore the problems they solve and why it matters.  

Downtime Becoming Greater Liability

Meeting soaring power demands coupled with increasing power costs, maximizing uptime, and reducing the environmental impact of their operations are steep challenges faced by data center operators. Meeting these challenges requires one crucial element — tools that enable both granular visibility into power quality along a data center’s entire power chain as well as high-density deployments to maximize efficiency. The ballooning demands for AI and ML applications by end users are creating an ever-growing need for reliable, intelligent rack power distribution monitoring and control.

The Uptime Institute reports that power-related problems cause 43% of outages, resulting in downtime and financial losses. Electrical reliability and power quality monitoring are crucial to preventing downtime and supporting sustainability through increased energy efficiency. With a continuing — and worsening — shortage of IT personnel, organizations are finding it vital to implement automation as much as possible. However, traditional intelligent PDU metering solutions do not have the capabilities to meet the needs for monitoring and addressing power quality issues at the rack (and device) level, let alone without expending valuable and increasingly dwindling workforce. Powered by its Raritan brand, Legrand has filled those gaps with the next generation of intelligent rack PDUs. 

PRO4X and PX4: The Right Rack PDUs For the Job 

Available under Legrand’s brands as the Raritan PX4, this new intelligent rack PDU designs transform capacity planning, workload optimization, environmental monitoring, physical and digital access control, and uptime initiatives. Combining over 30 years of battle-tested engineering and intelligence with industry-proven hardware and software, the PX4 solves the power needs of data center operators today while helping them anticipate tomorrow’s rack power distribution challenges. 

These next-generation PDUs can capture and view current and voltage waveforms, detect disturbances like voltage sags and voltage swells, measure harmonic power flow, and also provide alerts when power quality measurements are outside a set tolerance range. These features can identify problems before they occur, avoiding downtime and triggering action to prevent equipment damage.

The PX4 also seamlessly integrates with all existing building management systems (BMS) and data center infrastructure management (DCIM) architectures, creating a bridge between the general monitoring and the tools that data center managers need to maintain their operations. Their ability to communicate with existing BMS and DCIM systems through universal APIs, such as Redfish, JSON-ROC, or SNMP, further simplifies data center management while bestowing greater oversight and control.

From a simple installation process that does not require special tools to high-density outlet support, seamless integration with existing DCIM or BMS solutions, the most accurate real-time visibility, and unparalleled security, the PX4 delivers the most comprehensive intelligence required to ensure uptime and reduce manual interaction at the rack. Key features/capabilities include: 

  • The most complete and accurate (±0.5%) set of internalized power quality monitoring metrics 
  • The first rack PDUs to measure total harmonic distortion at the cabinet/device levels 
  • Waveform capture capabilities, circuit-breaker trip forensics, and visibility of min/max power measurement values 
  • Unsurpassed outlet and power density 

As a result, the PX4 address some of today’s most common power-related challenges, including: 

  • Data collection and optimization 
  • Capacity planning and failover planning 
  • Infrastructure and facility needs 
  • White space security and instrumentation 

This new intelligent PDU is designed to minimize the work facilities managers must do to optimize their power usage and capacity and achieve maximum uptime. As data centers adapt to the demands of AI and ML, the PRO4X and PX4 deliver analytics automation and other critical features to ensure power monitoring and control needs are met today and into the future. For more information, download our data center whitepaper