The Raritan Blog

We’ve Cut the Cables to Intelligent PDUs

Posted on December 6, 2012 by Greg More

PDUs Intelligent

Here at Raritan, we’re very excited to announce our new Wi-Fi data center solution - the first to enable intelligent rack PDUs (iPDUs)  and telemetry sensors to communicate over regular, 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless connections.  Considering that typical equipment racks have two PDUs apiece for power redundancy, this is great news to anyone designing data centers: they’ve just lopped the cost of pulling Ethernet cable off their power management budget.

It’s also great news for anyone in an existing data center who wants to make the switch to intelligent power distribution or add environmental monitoring to their remote operation. Raritan intelligent PDU sensors can track temperature, humidity, airflow, and air pressure readings remotely.  Again, no Ethernet cost; no new switches or cables to find space for.

When you replace that cabling with an antenna and a set of wireless access points in the ceiling, you’ve opened up some great new possibilities for DCIM while reducing your deployment cost.

And your security remains tight. Admittedly, there’s no way to lock doors or build physical fences around a wireless network - most wireless waves propagate a fair distance, depending on the frequency at which they operate.  But that physical cable occupies only the bottom layer of the OSI seven-layer model. Between the basic hardware layer and the top, application layer, there are opportunities in all of the other layers to insert effective obstacles against interception or spoofing.

Secure Power Management, Environmental Monitoring - Without Stringing Cables

Just think about a firewall, one like we all have in our homes or businesses. That firewall is designed to prevent a malware attack of some sort from getting into your network physically. But if someone inside your company wants to do harm, that firewall is irrelevant. The person inside the company is also inside the firewall. So in order to protect your network from the inside, you need things that operate at the data and application layers, like authorizations, permissions, authentication, and data encryption to keep your data secure.  Our new wireless channel now does all that, restricting access to the right people. It also encrypts the information so that someone can’t just set up a wireless scanner to listen in or pick up passwords.

Generation 2 Raritan intelligent PDUs. An opening to go wireless

When we went to the Generation 2 models of our intelligent PDUs two years ago, we added USB-A and USB-B ports. (In fact, we’re the only PDU manufacturer to date that has done this.) Then we designed a cable to plug into that port, run up to the top of the cabinet, and accept a USB Wi-Fi antenna - one of our own make. This gives us control of the communication protocols. That way, we know that it operates on 802.11a, b, g and n.  In other words, it operates with whatever wireless access points the customer already has or wants.

Learn more about Raritan‘s Wi-Fi solution. Click here.

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