August 30, 2010
Today’s high power demands, increasing power costs and constantly changing equipment require data center and facilities managers to look for power solutions that can deliver a lot of power but are flexible. A typical data center has both medium density (5-10 kW/rack) and high density (15-30 kW/rack) equipment racks. For example, some racks may have 2U/4U application and database servers, others may have 1U Web servers, still, others may support blade servers, storage networks, or high density networking fabric.
The power requirements for this variety of equipment can range from single phase to three phase, rack power (kW) may be anywhere from 5 kW to 30 kW per rack, and there could be dozens of different physical receptacles. The key is to efficiently utilize the available power capacity and to maintain uptime to the greatest extent possible while changes are made. The traditional approach uses pedestals at several locations in the data center with under-floor conduits or whips from the pedestal to racks. All the cable under that raised floor can impede airflow and cooling. The fixed feeds lead to decreased flexibility and challenging serviceability. In fact, it is not uncommon for some cables to be abandoned in place.