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Power monitoring and control at the receptacle or rack level is a hot topic lately. Part of the interest can be attributed to the lure of the unknown – that feeling of “I’m not sure why I want it, but I’ll probably need it!” But there are some really solid reasons for data center managers to consider receptacle-level power monitoring/control solutions.

The ability to trace watts information at the power strip level gives a much clearer picture of how much power a data center consumes. If I have an under-performing asset, it’s easy to earmark for replacement if the problem can be measured down to the receptacle level. If an asset is under-utilized, it can be easily targeted for virtualization.

There are a number of products that can be used for receptacle-level power monitoring and management. Take, for instance, the RPC series of power management solutions from Baytech. These units let you manage power more efficiently by remotely turning on/off receptacles or rebooting unresponsive equipment. (You can read more about Baytech’s products in “Better Monitor & Control Power” at Processor.com.)

Raritan offers Remote Power Control (RPC) units that allow you to control power usage at the socket level. The units have individual LED indicators for each receptacle and, in the case of an outage, offers receptacle status retention so that power is restored only to those assets that were on previously.

There are also the Synaptix™ power distribution units from Epicenter. These products come in a variety of receptacle configurations, offer the ability to measure consumption at each individual receptacle, and can be accessed remotely.

It will be interesting to measure the true impact of these units on data center power efficiency. Don’t be surprised to find me writing a white paper on the use of receptacle-level power solutions in the coming months.

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