Electronics Protection - January/February 2013 - (Page 8)

Feature Choosing the Right UPS Deployment Architecture for your Data Center Distributed Versus Ventralized Power Backup Strategies Ed Spears, Technical Product Marketing Manager, Eaton Power Quality Solutions Operation Eaton Corp. Though every power protection solution varies in numerous ways, all but the largest data centers rely on one of two basic approaches when deploying uninterruptible power systems (UPSs). Either they take a distributed approach, installing many smaller UPSs among their server racks, or they take a centralized route, and install one or two large UPSs centrally within or near their server room. Choosing between these two strategies can be difficult. Although both are designed to keep important data and applications continuously available, distributed and centralized power backup schemes accomplish that goal in different ways with associated advantages and disadvantages. Thus, there is no simple formula to determine which one a given company should use. However, by understanding what questions to ask yourself when choosing a backup architecture, and by possessing a solid knowledge of the pros and cons of each architecture strategy as well as methods to mitigate the weaknesses of whichever approach you ultimately select, you can make a confident decision that results in optimum uptime and reliable power protection. Distributed Backup In a distributed power backup scheme, most commonly used in network closets and medium-sized data centers, large numbers of smaller-sized UPS hardware and other power protection equipment is mounted directly in an organization’s server racks, or in some cases directly adjacent to them. One of the most apparent advantages of distributed backup architectures is the associated capacity for modular growth. Growing companies can limit upfront expenses by adding UPSs incrementally each time they install a new server rack, instead of making large initial investments in centralized UPSs with more capacity than initially needed. Since the smaller UPSs typically employed in distributed backup solutions tend to be more affordably priced, businesses can strengthen redundancy in an economically-friendly fashion by equipping each of their racks with two UPSs rather than one. Additionally, the typical lifespan of the compact UPSs employed in distributed backup schemes is roughly the same as the typical lifespan of a server. As a result, organizations with distributed backup architectures can easily pay off and replace their UPS hardware on the same three to five year schedule as their server hardware. Another benefit of distributed UPS deployment strategies is an increase in power availability. As a general rule, the shorter the wiring distance between UPSs and the servers they protect, the lower the potential for problems along the power chain (such as grounding issues, electrical noise interference and loose connections) and therefore the higher your overall power availability. As a result of distributed backup UPSs’ direct proximity to server racks, fewer opportunities arise for wiring flaws to develop than in centralized architectures, generally delivering better availability. This adjacent position to server racks also ensures that Ethernet connectivity is always nearby and readily available, leading to simpler network integration. Distributed backup architectures also commonly feature smaller, lighter UPSs that are easy to install and relocate, making for easier deployment and redeployment, thus creating an advantage for companies that redeploy equipment in their data centers on a frequent basis. But, despite the advantages listed above, distributed architecture UPS deployments also have their pitfalls. Companies with distributed backup strategies often find monitoring the status of their many UPSs a challenge and are also wary of a distributed architecture’s impact on rack space usage efficiency. Luckily, businesses planning to use a distributed backup architecture can make monitoring and managing their numerous UPSs easier by implementing network-aware power management software. When used in conjunction with network-enabled UPSs, the latest intelligent, logical and complete power management applications give data center managers a global view of their entire power quality infrastructure through a single console. Another way to simplify management of distributed power backup architectures is to employ thorough, documented maintenance procedures, such as those contained in the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). Developed by the British government in the 1980s, ITIL defines specific, effective and repeatable ways to handle incident management, service desk operation and other common IT tasks. Even in data centers with large numbers of UPSs, performing administrative tasks in consistent, repeatable ways can significantly lower the likelihood of power failures while also increasing the productivity of data center technicians. Overall, administering numerous UPSs in multiple locations can be a demanding and time-consuming chore for data center technicians. Servers usually play a far more important role in the data center, so most IT managers seek to devote as much rack space as possible to server hardware. In a distributed backup strategy, UPS hardware takes up valuable rack space that could otherwise be dedicated to server hardware. Centralized Backup A common alternative to the distributed scheme, a centralized backup strategy relies on one or two large UPSs rather than a large quantity of smaller units. The UPSs are usually situated at the end of a server row, along the perimeter of the server room or in a separate room nearby. A centralized backup approach results in easier management, 8 January/February 2013 www.ElectronicsProtectionMagazine.com http://www.ElectronicsProtectionMagazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Electronics Protection - January/February 2013

Electronics Protection - January/February 2013
CPI’s eConnect PDUs Integrate Thermal Management with Intelligent Power Solutions
Five Powerful Virtualization Challenges
How Do You Choose Between Hot and Cold Aisle Containment?
Choosing the Right UPS Deployment Architecture for your Data Center
Adalet Offers Explosion Proof Enclosures Constructed from Stainless Steel
AVX’S MLC Capacitor Series Provides Protection Against ESD Strikes
Electrorack Launches Contain-IT Aisle Containment Solution
CoolitDC v.6.00 Boosts Modeling Accuracy and Ease-of-Use
Tru-Block Failure-Free Surge Protection Products Introduced
TE Connectivity’s 2Pro AC Devices Deliver Enhanced Protection in A Single Component
Gore Protective Vent Improves Reliability of Electronic Displays
USB Panel-Mount PCB Connectors Added to L-com Lineup
Industry News
Calendar of Events
Research & Development

Electronics Protection - January/February 2013