Uncovering the Myths Behind Remote Power


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Uncovering the Myths Behind Remote Power: Determining the Right Solution for Your Data Center

As IT operations and equipment become more geographically dispersed, the need to implement effective remote power management tools becomes more significant.

To view the recorded webinar event, please visit http://www.42u.com/myths-behind-remote-power-webinar.htm

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  • Ladies and Gentlemen: Thanks for standing by and welcome to today’s session in the DirectNET web Seminar Serious. Today’s presentation is entitled: “Uncovering the Myths Behind Remote Power: Determining the Right Solution for your Data Center”. During the presentation, all participants will be in a listen only mode. However, we encourage your questions or comments at anytime through the “chat” feature located at the lower left of your screen. These questions will be addressed as time allows. As a reminder, this Web Seminar is being recorded, today, September 6th 2007 and a recording will be sent to all attendees within 48 hours.
  • So, before we begin, let’s quickly go over the agenda. First, to set the landscape for our discussion, Cliff is going to talk us through the various types of power solutions. For those of you joining today, you may have been exposed to some of the terms currently listed on our slide but may now know how they differentiate. More importantly, you may not know what they mean to your business. So, Cliff’s going to help provided that much-needed clarification. Cliff is also going to take us through some of the current technology trends as it related to remote power. Most importantly, he’s going to highlight what these advancements mean to your business and are these technologies that you should be employing, or at least considering. Finally, if you‘ve ever considered implementing a remote power solution but were weary, for whatever reason because of things you’ve heard about or read about, Cliff is going to help us navigate through the truths and myths. Lisa: So, Cliff, before we begin our discussion specifically around managing remote power, I think it would be helpful if you could quickly talk about some of the trends and challenges that data centers may be facing, which is driving the need to look at alternative, and in the case of the items we discuss today, intelligent, power solutions.
  • Cliff: I’d be happy to, Jon. Jon: Well, those definitely represent some interesting challenges, so thank you for that summary. Now, let’s dive right into today’s discussion around remote power management. And, I think that I speak for everyone joining today in that we all know, conceptually, what remote power “is”. But we may not know what our options are.
  • Cliff: Exactly, Jon. And that’s the first thing I’d like to cover today ---reviewing the types of solutions, in conjunction with their advantages and disadvantages. As organization’s power needs have been changing, so have the technologies supporting them. But, sometimes that evolutions occurs so rapidly, that we can’t make heads or tails of the features and how they are supposed to help us. So, to begin, I want to walk through an assessment of the 4 major types of power – basic, metered, monitored (or smart) and switched.
  • Jon; Ok, Basic Power. I mean, the name itself “Basic” can be confusing, not to mention misleading, right? It seems that “basic” power implies inferiority. Is that really the case? Cliff: Yes, it can be. XXXXXX Lisa: So would you say that while limited, Basic power may be a good fit for some organizations, based on their projected growth plans and/or environment. Particularly because power isn’t, necessarily, a one-size-fits all, correct? Cliff: <Transition> Jon: Ok, but I have to admit Cliff, basic power doesn’t even hit the surface as it relates to the advancements we’re all hearing about in power management.
  • Cliff: No, Basic Power is just the beginning. Lisa: I hear what you’re saying about gathering intelligence, but I know many data center managers have made investments in UPS devices. Doesn’t that give them the ‘intelligence’ you’re referring to? <Transition> Jon: It seems like these last two solutions, basic and metered, are more geared toward local power needs. But, as we discussed in the beginning, the demands for managing power remotely are really growing. These solutions don’t support a remote model, right? So, what does?
  • Cliff: When we start talking about remote power, we start exploring those new technologies I mentioned at the beginning of the presentation. The first in that category are what the industry is calling ‘SMART” power. Lisa: Ok, that all sounds well and good but I’ve done my research and I know that SMART power solutions can be very expensive, when compared to Basic and Metered power solutions. I think our listeners would agree that it’s the heavy price tag that is a huge inhibitor of implementing a solution of this nature.
  • <Transition> Lisa: So, if I was listening in on this presentation today, my take-away should be that monitored or SMART power is the silver-bullet for remote power management?
  • Cliff: Well, not to fast Lisa. SMART power can XXXX but there are some areas that it doesn’t cover. Take for example web-based tools. Lisa: So Cliff, this is a little new to me. Can you walk through, in detail, exactly how these products work? Lisa: But, Cliff, I’ve heard switched power referred to as “Intelligent” power. So, while the web interface is definitely valuable, it seems to me that that was a natural evolution. What’s all the buzz around ‘intelligence’? Lisa: Okay, I agree those are some very nice features. So, give us the downside – I mean, there have to be some concerns around switched power solutions? Lisa: Security is definitely an area that would be a concern in choosing a product. What are some of the recommendations you offer your customer to mitigate the security risk associated with switched power ?
  • Lisa: Thanks again, Cliff. To capture what you’ve shared with us, let’s take a look at a product matrix that compares cost or investment in a particular solution type versus an end-user’s ability to mitigate risk within their IT infrastructure. Obviously, basic power is the least expensive, and for that level of investment, it also provides the fewest benefits, with the exception of reliability and standardization in many cases. As we move along from left to right the next logical product is Metered, as you explained, which adds a certain level of additional functionality. As we move past Metered, we see the largest jump from both a cost and a functionality stand-point. Monitored or ‘Smart’ solutions provide us with amperage and environmental information, but still don’t provide the ability to respond or react to that information. And finally, switched/intelligent power solutions provide all of the aforementioned benefits with the added ability to completely manage the power state at the individual outlet level. Cliff: That is a perfectly accurate way to summarize, Lisa. Lisa: Great. So as a checklist, we should ensure <<go through checklist>>
  • Lisa: So Cliff, we’ve covered what our options are, as it relates to power solutions, as well as some of the advancements, which play a critical role to how technology is keeping pace w/ growing power needs. But, I’ve got to be honest, I’ve heard quite a few negatives against remote power that I think we should address.
  • Lisa: So, for starters, I’ve heard that remote power can really have an impact on overall system reliability. As an example, if I’m using a switched or ‘intelligent’ power solution, what happens to my overall power if the ‘intelligence’ fails? How can I be confident that the whole unit doesn’t fail?
  • Lisa: Ok, how would you respond to the integration question? I mean, you’ve spoken a great deal today about how remote power can really streamline efforts but I’m sure that means just another application to add to an already over-burdened portfolio of applications these data center managers are using.
  • Lisa: Got it. Now, earlier you mentioned that the leading manufacturers provide a variety of options to accommodate specific needs. Can you elaborate on these product’s ability to meet the newest challenges?
  • Lisa: Great, so we’ve hit on it a great deal in our presentation today, but I can’t help but mention the pink elephant in the room and that’s cost. I’m sure some folks on the phone are still concerned that a remote power solution really isn’t worth the investment. How do you respond to that? Lisa: Cliff, thanks for walking us through that assessment. Before we close off today’s presentation by allowing our audience to ask questions, would you like to leave us with any closing thoughts? Talk about a valued partner, comprehensive discovery process, etc.
  • Uncovering the Myths Behind Remote Power

    1. 1. Uncovering the Myths Behind Remote Power: Determining the Right Solution for Your Data Center September 6, 2007
    2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>An Assessment: What are your options when choosing a datacenter power solution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Basic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Metered </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitored </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Switched </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Understanding Advancements in Remote Power </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Branch Circuit Protection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3-Phase Power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Power-Up Sequencing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Debunking 4 Remote Power Myths </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reliability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integration with existing systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scalability </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul>
    3. 3. Remote Site Challenges <ul><li>90% of employees work away from HQ </li></ul><ul><li>Remote/Branch offices are growing by 11% annually </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of on-site IT and facilities support personnel at remote </li></ul><ul><li>locations (<20%) </li></ul><ul><li>Proliferation of distributed applications </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing expense for ‘truck rolls” and 3 rd -party calls </li></ul>
    4. 4. An Assessment: Basic, Metered, Monitored and Switched Power
    5. 5. Basic Power Advantages Disadvantages Standardization on a single manufacturer's products, footprint, MTBF expectations, etc. No additional tools to manage power related issues either locally or remotely Minimal investment in providing reliable power distribution within the equipment rack Retrofitting existing environments can be more expensive than perceived benefits Certain options do include branch-circuit protection to isolate power issues and maintain as much operational equipment as possible Relatively inexpensive power infrastructure improvement for any size datacenter
    6. 6. Metered Power Distribution Hardware Advantages Disadvantages Provide visual indicator of amperage draw per circuit within the physical data center environment While visual indicators are valuable at locations with local IT personnel, these cues don’t provide information to remote resources and IT personnel Eliminate circuit overload by accurately measuring consumption and allowing IT professionals to maintain optimal 80% power loads Since there is no ongoing logging availability, trading cannot be utilized for resource planning when adding or changing equipment configurations
    7. 7. Monitored Power Advantages Disadvantages Provide true real-time power status for monitoring purposes and addressing issues as they occur Information provided can be of significant value, but does not provide the ability to mitigate problems and reduce MTTR from off-site locations Information can be sent to single or multiple off-site locations for interpretation and selection of appropriate response planning Important alert information still necessitates involving other support aspects, including non-skilled personnel, third party technicians, or costly truck rolls As information is being exported from the individual hardware devices, real-time and historical information can be catalogued and stored, and analyzed for troubleshooting and resources planning purposes
    8. 8. Proven ROI of Remote Power Solutions
    9. 9. Switched Power Advantages Disadvantages Provide out-level control for attached IT resources and ability to hard-boot systems that have failed in the field Security; once the hardware provide the ability to manage device level power, security processed must be implemented and monitored to ensure procedures cannot be circumvented Most solutions allow association of multiple power supply devices between multiple circuits to provide consistent power cycling when the need arises Investments can be more significant that traditional PDU’s – it is important to generate a true ROI for the purchases versus 3 rd party technical support, potential issues with non-skilled personnel, truck roll expenses, etc. Load-shedding technology can monitor power issues and reduce power consumption as factors arise, such as UPS battery activation temperate thresholds exceed pre-defined limits, etc. Power-up sequencing ensures that if a critical power failure occurs, all of the outlets of a specific PDU are not all turned on at once, causing a detrimental power in-rush Graceful shutdown agents can be implemented to perform clean OS shutdown when the need to remove power arises
    10. 10. Plotting it Out <ul><li>Deliver clean, reliable power to IT assets </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor power consumption </li></ul><ul><li>Gather and communicate information on power anomalies, changes and issues </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to react to changes in system status, environment, etc. </li></ul>
    11. 11. Dispelling the Myths of Remote Power Management
    12. 12. Myth #1:Remote Power Can Impact Overall Reliability <ul><li>What happens if the intelligence fails? </li></ul><ul><li>Do my outlets lose power? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I lose the ability to access my power devices? </li></ul>
    13. 13. Myth #2: Remote Power Solutions Can’t Integrate with Existing Management Tools <ul><li>How can I arrive at an integrated solution with a single interface or console? </li></ul><ul><li>How do I tie all of the management components together for ease of use? </li></ul>
    14. 14. Myth #3: Intelligent power doesn’t provide the real power needs for my Data Center <ul><li>Can I accommodate 3-phase power provisioning? </li></ul><ul><li>Can I control more than one circuit at the same time through the same interface? </li></ul><ul><li>How scalable are those solutions when I need to grow? </li></ul>
    15. 15. Myth# 4: Intelligent Power Isn’t Worth the Investment <ul><li>Why are these so much more expensive than traditional PDU’s? </li></ul><ul><li>How can I compare initial investment with true ROI and reduced TCO and IT management? </li></ul>
    16. 16. Q&A To Receive a Copy of Today’s Presentation: [email_address]