COVID-19: Critical business support and our focus on employee health. Learn More

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.