The Raritan Blog

Raritan PX Intelligent PDUs: Making your Data Center Power More Reliable

Nicolas Sagnes
September 6, 2017

The core of any successful data center management team is uptime and service availability. Data centers need infrastructure hardware that can guarantee the highest levels of service continuity throughout their entire life cycle. This is imperative as the cost of a power outage is on the rise, according to the latest data center report that “the average total cost per minute of an unplanned outage increased from $5,617 in 2010 to $8,851 to 2016”. It’s critical for data center managers to put in place processes and procedures related to their infrastructure in order to prevent potential outages causing downtime. They not only need to be alerted right away when anything out of the ordinary occurs but also enable quicker recovery when the worst case happens.

Since intelligent PDUs are the closest point of contact with IT equipment, they play a pivotal part in managing these infrastructure processes and procedures. Amongst these intelligent PDUs, Raritan iPDUs are one of the most reliable devices, as they are tested and deployed within some of the world’s largest data centers. The PX iPDUs provide the most advanced features to empower concerned users by supplying reliable power to the rack while reducing downtime.

In terms of reliable power, not all features are equal. Some key elements that impact your ability to guarantee uptime are:

Prevent Downtime and Increase Data Insights:

  • PDU Reliability by Design: At Raritan, we take design very seriously, and with 30 years of data center expertise, we know the importance of reliability. Every unit produced is tested 100% for safety and reliability through a stringent manufacturing process.  Raritan’s 3D CAD design methodology yields PDUs over 35% shallower than comparable competitive products. The highest attention to detail goes into the assembly and packaging process, providing consistent benefits. Once the PX is deployed in your environment, you can be sure that it will maintain top performance for years to come. The PX PDU also includes a dust proof aluminum chassis with no vent holes and upscale input cable parts to protect against strain and premature wear. The premium assembly of quality parts guarantees the highest functioning capacity within harsh environments (up to 60 degrees Celsius), protecting your PDU circuits longer.
  • Metering Standards and Accuracy: In order to prevent outages in your data center, the first step is to make sure that you can effectively and accurately monitor real data. You don’t want to be alerted for no valid reason; this is why the PX has been certified at +/-1% metering accuracy with all types of real time loads at all metering points. With PX 5000 Series, a discrete, billing-grade energy meter chip is dedicated to each outlet receptacle and provides extremely precise kWh info for all receptacles. This sophisticated metering architecture provides you with a clearer picture, at all levels (Inlet and Circuit breaker/Branch circuit as a standard, and outlet level on select models).
  • Prevent Human Error: Reducing human error is a major step in achieving 100% uptime. The PX is equipped with a full-color display making it crystal clear to identify power feeds and plug the right equipment into the right side. On select PX models, a special wiring architecture passively alternates PDU phases to facilitate cord dressing. The phases are printed directly on the chassis, clearly identifying which phase a given outlet belongs to.
  • Exploit Power Data Insights:  Allowing the user to confidently plug the proper equipment into the rack, Raritan PDUs advanced power management capabilities provide clear visibility on available power per phase, down to each outlet. Used in combination with Power IQ DCIM software failover reports, PX users are able to configure specific traps and automation rules.
  • Maintain Connectivity at All Time: Raritan PX with the advanced iX7 controller now includes a built-in failover power capability called Power Sharing. This exclusive feature will allow two PDU controllers deployed in a rack to be connected with a standard cat 5 cable and actively power each other at all times, in addition to the PDU feed. If a PDU loses power, it is possible to maintain full connectivity to the “lost” PDU controller, be alerted right away, and also still be able to remotely access your sensors and any other cascaded devices.

Responsive by Real Time Alerts:

  • Xerus Technology Platform Rule Based Alerting:  Raritan PX contains multiple sensing points all across its chassis, and each sensing point can be configured with customized rules and thresholds. With advanced alerting and threshold intelligence, Xerus machine can be facilitated to machine intelligence protocols for easy deduplication. It will also be able to transfer alerts to any BMS or DCIM software.  In addition to distributing power, the onboard computer associates all metering points as sensors. This means that everything that your PX senses, can be used as warnings and alerts.
  • Granular Environmental Monitoring: Leveraging Xerus outside of your PX chassis is also possible with the full set of plug-and-play environmental sensors, which you can monitor the same way as your PDU sensing points and power data. With Raritan PX you get a plug-and-play sensor bus, which powers a wide variety of sensors in order to monitor any environmental conditions in your data center. There is no need for specific configurations since the sensor’s parameters are pre-integrated within Xerus firmware. By measuring temperature and humidity at the rack level, you can leverage sensors to clearly identify cooling inefficiencies, hot spots, or airflow recirculation in your IT equipment, which ultimately risk downtime. The PX follows the latest ASHRAE 90.4 guidelines to ensure each sensor is integrated directly with the Xerus technology platform’s advanced alerting and threshold intelligence to multiply your monitoring efficiency. All sensors directly plug into your PX, making cascading an option to outfit entire rows or even suite of your data center quickly.
  • Monitor Human Behavior with Advanced Access Automation: Improve your staff productivity by defining user profiles and establishing work schedules, allowing specific cabinets to open at specific times. Combined with Raritan asset management, you can precisely direct what IT equipment is accessed and limit human error causing downtime. Raritan PX will allow you to comply with regulations like HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and PCI by managing physical access to specific data appliances. This is done by linking a plug-and-play intelligent door lock and card readers to the rack. This external feature will allow you to control and authorize access. It also will allow you to open and close specific rack doors remotely and on demand from the User Interface or DCIM software like Power IQ. In addition, your PX will be able to trigger facial capture and sustain your database when suspicious behavior occurs. When combining door lock with a USB camera and proximity sensors, you can trigger alerts when unwanted individuals access your critical infrastructure. You can also remotely monitor current work status and work order completion.

Faster Remediation in Case of an Outage, Improve MTTR:

  • Standard Hot Swappable Controller: Every piece of hardware, especially within extreme functioning environments, is subject to failure. The PX controller impressive failure rate in a harsh environment (long exposure to heat and humidity) is only 0.000006%, substantially lower than the standard average. To guarantee field efficiency, our customers asked us to develop a hot swappable architecture for the PX controller, which is the reason we patented a structure protecting inside circuits of the PX. The structure allows users to replace a controller for any reason, without cutting power to the PDU and interrupting service. When competitive solutions have loose screws and no under-circuit protection, Raritan developed a secure enclosure, eliminating the risk of small parts falling inside the PDU during service.
  • Bi-State Hybrid Latching Relays:  In the PX 5000 Series, every outlet receptacle connects to UL-listed baseboards. They are rated for high-current with reliable relays for optional remote outlet switching, which are certified for 10,000 cycles. PX Intelligent PDUs with outlet switching consumes less energy, protect against inrush currents, and hold the critical power load, even in the event of catastrophic failure. Operators will be able to implement granular recovery protocols and configure a last known state or a sequential reboot for every outlet separately, thus protecting from inrush current risks and improving service recovery.

Since uptime and accessibility are essential for any thriving data center, a facility set up that guarantees optimal service continuity throughout an entire life cycle is necessary. Data center managers should create systems specific to their infrastructure to avert probable outages that cause downtime. Intelligent PDUs provide a key role in managing infrastructure methodology since they have the most access to IT equipment. Raritan iPDUs rank as one of the most dependable devices of their kind and are verified and implemented in some of the most notable data centers in the world. Raritan’s PX iPDUs offer dependable power to the rack, diminish downtime, and provide responsive real-time alerts. Since downtime is problematic for any effective facility, it is always a good idea to ensure your data center will provide you with the reliability to sustain. To discover more on how iPDUs can make your data center more reliable, check out our eBook Reliable PDUs Lead to Reliable Data Centers.”