The migration of enterprise-owned IT equipment to the cloud and colocation data centers and the increase of edge sites are just two of the reasons why power control and monitoring for remote IT equipment is becoming an important issue. The necessity to monitor power and remotely reboot equipment has become mandatory for unmanned edge data centers and remote sites.
Power in data centers is distributed by a Power Distribution Unit (PDU). A Rack PDU is a simple, low-cost solution, but more advanced PDU’s with intelligence built in including power monitoring are increasingly being deployed.
Benefits Of Remote Power Monitoring
Remote power monitoring at outlet level is particularly beneficial in remote, unmanned sites. Some IT equipment requires a periodic physical reboot. The ability to perform this task remotely is beneficial, saving cost and time for a technician to visit the site.
Installation of remote power monitoring solutions in colocation and remote sites reduces “remote hands” service charges for simple activities. When servicing vital equipment like a switch, router, or server, the price of the PDU usually equates to the total of a few remote hands service charges, providing a return on investment.
Power monitoring also gives you the tools to check available power capacity and plan how it can be allocated.
Features Of Remote Power Monitoring
Intelligent PDUs come with a host of remote power monitoring and control options. Remote power control at global or outlet level is critical for remote sites. The ability to switch individual outlets on/off, and cycle power to outlets is included in the remote power control at the outlet level. It can also be used to ensure power is turned off on unused outlets. Power monitoring at global or outlet level can also be offered.
Critical firmware and hardware features required on PDU are listed below:
- The PDU is linked with a certain site or location and cabinet or rack.
- Individual outlets associate the PDU with specific rack-mounted equipment.
- Strong network security, with HTTP support and the option to upload a custom certificate, as well as SNMPv3 compatibility for third-party software integration.
- Separate degrees of permission for PDU management vs power and outlet control, as well as integration with enterprise authentication systems such as RADIUS and LDAP.
- The ability to turn outlets on and off, as well as cycle outlets.
- During normal operation, bi-stable relays are used to reduce the power consumption of PDU. They also enable individual outlets to preserve their status following a power outage.
- Ability to report whether outlets are on, off, or cycling.
- The ability to manage the power-on sequence and prevent inrush current
- The ability to aggregate outlets and monitor and manage the status of all of them with a single click to monitor and regulate power for a device with numerous power connections.
- When PDUs are linked via IP consolidation to monitor and control power for a device that is powered through many PDUs, the ability to aggregate outlets across numerous PDUs is possible.
- Keeping a historical record of changes in outlet status (on, off, cycle)
- Support for in-band and out-of-band management via integration with third-party.
Additional Features Of Remote Power Monitoring
Monitoring the power use of ICT equipment gives essential information about power use and power capacity. Environmental monitoring and access control are also possible with PDU remote monitoring. These features can provide remote equipment with increased operational awareness and security at a lower cost than individually derived systems.
More features to consider to get the most out of remote power monitoring are listed below:
- Integrated environmental monitoring with alarms at the rack level to track operation conditions, trends, and SLA adherence.
- Integrated electronic access control and data logging through the use of electronic locks on cabinets. This is to regulate access to equipment remotely and keep records for regulatory compliance.
- IP consolidation reduces networking costs by allowing several PDU to share a single physical network connection and IP address.
- Secure administration and data transfer to DCIM management software thanks to integrated network security.
- For usage in high-density racks and edge sites where greater operating temperatures are the norm.
Adding Intelligence to your Existing PDU
Many intelligent PDU’s are an expensive solution, and retrofitting a costly exercise. For those with existing PDU’s who wish to add monitoring and remote control, the AKCP in-line power meter (ILPM) is ideal.
Why Select AKCP Remote Power Monitoring?
Managing power at the rack level gives you the information you need to optimize your site’s space, power, and cooling utilization. AKCP experienced sales and application engineering teams will work with you to understand your needs and recommend the greatest solution for your application.
AKCP can also provide a complete solution, from, server rack, airflow management, environmental monitoring, electronic access control, and DCIM software. The systems are totally compatible and simple to set up and use.
AKCP Rack+ Solution
Both wired and wireless solutions for creating your own intelligent racks. Monitor temperature, △T, humidity, differential pressure, power, control access, and more. Fully SNMP compliant, monitor from your existing NMS or using our free DCIM AKCPro Server. Integration of mainline power monitoring, CRAC systems, and backup power, centrally monitored with AKCPro Server.
Make adjustments to your data center environment, and instantly see the effect it has on PUE numbers. Run your data center at its optimum condition for cost savings and server health.
An intelligent rack PDU with remote power control capability should be considered as part of an overall power management plan for those managing remote ICT equipment or a laboratory environment.
Remote power control makes basic troubleshooting easier and less expensive, while also preventing unwanted access to power. This capability is also beneficial to laboratories since it allows for efficient, remote rebooting when systems are tested in various configurations.