Electronics Protection - November/December 2011 - (Page 8)

Feature Add an Umbrella of Protection Over Your IT Infrastructure John Collins, Global Segment Manager – Data Centers Eaton Corp. The first time the hosting provider’s 144,000-square-foot data center suffered an outage, customers groused and the company apologized on its blog. The second time, they didn’t get off so easily. When power generator failures triggered a “brief loss of network connectivity to some servers,” causing customer applications to go down for part of the day, the company was compelled to pay out between $2.5 million and $3.5 million in service credits to impacted customers. The point is, the most rigorous redundancy in servers, storage and networking means nothing if you lose the power to run it, even briefly. No matter how you assess it, downtime carries an enormous price tag. The EPRI estimates the national cost of power interruptions at approximately $80 billion per year to US electrical customers, with momentary interruptions accounting for two-thirds of the total cost at $52 billion. Other studies concur that the cost of network downtime can be crippling to an organization, with financial implications starting at about $10,000 an hour for smaller companies and extending to $1 million per hour and upwards for those who rely heavily on measures such as e-commerce. Due to growing power densities of blade servers and virtualization, vulnerable assets and shrinking workforces, it is more vital than ever to monitor and communicate with components of the power protection and distribution system. Power monitoring systems support these missions by providing critical data for power assurance, power condition visibility, energy efficiency, energy cost allocations and proactive planning, which in turn enable the delivery of detailed and aggregated information needed to prevent downtime, optimize efficiency and obtain utility rebates and environmental certifications. Naturally, organizations will vary in the degree to which they must have visibility and control over the power infrastructure. A small to mid-sized business (SMB) might decree that as long as consistent power is coming into the premises through a monitored uninterruptible power system (UPS), everything is okay. Most organizations will view the data center as important enough to also monitor its support systems. Any data center running essential applications will want highly granular visibility and control over power conditions, most often to the server level. Simply by choosing where in the power infrastructure to deploy monitoring systems, the power monitoring architecture can be arranged as simple or as complex, as high-level or granular as an organization needs. There are the multiple possible monitoring points in the power infrastructure, ranging from the service entry all the way down to the level of the individual server outlets. The right configuration for any given organization is a balancing act between critical needs and cost. Is it enough to know that reasonable power is coming into the data center, or do you need to know load/utilization/power quality at the primary (switchgear) 8 The Power Monitoring Imperative and secondary (remote power panel) levels? If the latter is true, a freestanding or wall-mounted remote power panel (RPP) can be factory-equipped or retrofitted with the same type of branch circuit monitoring system as the main switchgear. Current transformers on every branch circuit, subfeed and main breakers report power conditions to a universal control and optionally to a building or power management system. Additionally, a tower or free standing UPS, such as the Eaton 9135 UPS, can communicate its status over the company’s Ethernet LAN or the internet, answering important questions in regard to input/output voltage and UPS battery condition. Do you need visibility into power conditions for groups of servers within a single rack, to manage high density, virtualized environments or to bill customers for their energy use? If so, you might want to look within the rack enclosure. Several power elements offer monitoring capabilities to prevent overload conditions and tripped circuits and, when applicable, accurately bill internal customers. For example, rack mount UPSs communicates power condition and operating status in a variety of networking environments. Do you need detailed power usage statistics to achieve efficiency accreditation and garner utility rebates? If so, an enclosure-based power distribution unit (ePDU) can monitor critical energy management statistics passing through the unit, including voltage, current and power factor, providing Level 3 PUE calculations, which are vital for obtaining Energy Star certifications as well as securing utility rebates. Additionally, environmental monitoring probes can be added to these enclosure-based PDUs enabling the tracking of temperature, humidity and contact closures at the rack level, which further aids in preventative maintenance and strategic power management planning. To meet the unique needs for power monitoring and management, there are diverse choices in management systems, from very basic (often free) to high-end, custom-programmed systems. A typical hierarchy of monitoring/management software options span the following levels: Basic: No special software is required to view and manage a device. Simply open a Web browser, type in the device’s IP address or its communication card, and you can monitor its status and, where applicable, shutdown or restart connected systems. Aggregated View: Administrators can monitor and aggregate information from multiple devices, such as multiple UPSs or enclosure-based power distribution units in different locations, on a single PC screen. Combined or Enterprise-Wide View of Power Systems: Data center and facilities managers can monitor the status of UPSs and other devices from multiple vendors, diagnose past events and predict future conditions. Enterprise-Wide Intelligence on Power and Facilities Systems: Some supervisory systems can analyze thousands of data points to proactively manage key equipment throughout an November/December 2011 www.ElectronicsProtectionMagazine.com http://www.ElectronicsProtectionMagazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Electronics Protection - November/December 2011

Raritan Introduces Data Center Rack Controller for Environment and Security Asset Management
Enclosure Design for Extreme Environments
The Power Monitoring Imperative
Protection Selection: Guidelines for Choosing Remote Monitoring Enclosures
Rittal Releases New Hygienic Design Enclosures
Emerson Network Power Introduces Data Center Cooling System
Falcon Electric Adds Lightweight 10-Year Rated Lithium-Ion Batteries to SSG Series UPSs
Crenlo Introduces IBC Kit to its Lineup of Emcor Accessories
Littelfuse Introduces SP1006 TVS Diode Array For ESD Protection in Ultra-Small Form Factors
2012 Electronics Protection Resource Guide
Industry News
Calendar of Events

Electronics Protection - November/December 2011