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The Raritan Blog

Power Tip #5: Identify Failing Power Supplies

Posted on October 5, 2020 by Jessica Ciesla

Power supply failures are a leading cause of server failure. Additionally, most power supplies don't fail overnight but degrade over time. One key indicator of a degrading power supply is a declining power factor (PF). The PX3-5000 PDU series meters at each outlet. This metering monitors the power factor of each server. Most modern power supplies are rated for 85% (0.85 PF) or higher efficiency. Thus, setting a lower warning threshold for every outlet in use for a PF of 0.75 and a lower critical threshold for a PF of 0.65 can provide you with a preemptive alert to an impending power supply failure.

This alert can allow you valuable time to investigate and, if necessary, proactively turn the power supply off in a controlled scenario before an unexpected server outage occurs. This early alert can potentially help you to prevent a larger scale outage at the rack. Lastly, a degrading power supply over time consumes more power than average and can deprive power from other servers.

Setup Power Factor (PF) Thresholds to prevent downtime.

Power Factor thresholds are disabled by default. These can be enabled by navigating to Outlets > Threshold Bulk Setup Select Power Factor from drop-down > Edit Thresholds.

Example of Outlet History and Power Factor Charting Illustrated Below.

Example of Outlet Thresholds Illustrated Below.

To learn more about how to identify failing power supplies watch our previously recorded webinar, here.