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PDU Mass Deployment and Lifecycle Management

Posted on August 17, 2016 by Nicolas Sagnes

You recently acquired brand new PDUs or you are in the process of evaluating power distribution solutions. You are probably asking yourself: “How can I easily and seamlessly deploy my PDUs and leverage their capabilities in my existing DCIM software or BMS?”

Well look no further.  I’m here to give you a quick overview of Raritan’s open API and scripting capabilities, as well as our mass configuration options.  

Our PX2 and PX3 intelligent rack PDUs leverage JSON RPC to easily configure your PDU to your exact requirements.  JSON RPC is a simple protocol that binds major coding languages like Python, Perl, and JavaScript to your PDU functionalities.

JSON RPC allows you to automate PDU features like outlet-level switching, or access power data, environment info, alarms, and thresholds. In turn, you can integrate rack-level data into the GUI of commercial and homegrown DCIM and BMS systems.  Pretty neat, huh?

But the best part is you don’t have to start from scratch. Our PX2 and PX3 support pages offer a downloadable Software Development Kit (SDK) with pre-integrated bindings.  From there, you’re free to customize those scripts to meet any unique needs.

On the mass configuration side, we offer two great options. The first is a traditional network based deployment option; the second is by using USB Flash drives.

Raritan PDUs use common protocols to enable you to remotely control and access your PDU through the Network. With DHCP/PXE and SSH protocols, your PDU is automatically recognized on a network as soon as its Ethernet port is connected.  This allows you to safely boot and push the desired configuration through a TFTP Server.

As an added note, Secure Shell (SSH) protocol is automatically embedded. This allows you to securely and remotely save and restore your initial configuration (individually or in bulk across your data center], and manage backups, firmware upgrades, and system restores over the network.

A few years ago, Henry Hsu discussed how to rapidly configure intelligent rack PDUs, so I won’t get into the specifics of the feature on this blog post.  But, I would like to share an incredible case study from a client who recently used the feature to deploy his PDUs.

For the first stage, they opted to configure their PDUs via the traditional method of connecting to each device and configuring via CLI. For the second stage they opted to use Raritan's USB configuration method. Note the difference: 

Phase One – Four techs, sixteen hours, and 200 PDUs via serial management port/CLI worked out to $1,600 USD.

Phase Two – Two techs, two hours, and 200 PDUs via USB mass deployment method (includes bar coding, creating the confiq file, cross referencing customers IP address, subnet and alarms) worked out to only $200 USD.  A cost reduction of 87.5%! 

To learn more about these features, please watch the video above.


You can also learn more about the PX series of rack PDUs here, or ask us a question.

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