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Intelligent Power Monitoring and Control

Today's corporations have assets spread over wide geographic areas – for example, a test team in North Carolina using equipment in California. When equipment locks up and must be manually rebooted (e.g. powered off/on), there are two traditional methods for achieving this: send a technician to the equipment, or hire staff at the equipment's site to respond to such issues. Both of these methods waste personnel resources.

Since the first oven was left on and the first server locked up, individuals have dreamed of the ability to remotely shut down or restart equipment. With the same ease as checking your e-mail, Cyber Switching PDUs allow you to do just that, remotely and automatically control the on/off state of equipment.

Cyber Switching's intelligent power distribution units (PDUs) offer the ability to remotely monitor and control equipment through a simple network connection. A PDU is a device that distributes the flow of electricity to equipment. CyberSwitching’s intelligent PDUs are more than just a simple on/off switch; users can monitor the amount of power being used (i.e. the load), set automated alerts and behaviors based on load, and turn individual pieces of equipment on and off with the click of a button! Companies can reduce operational costs in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Management and control of equipment (i.e. remote power cycling)
  • Load shedding, eliminating unnecessary power usage

Cyber Switching's Power Distribution Units (PDUs)

CyberSwitching’s intelligent PDUs are more than just a simple on/off switch; users can monitor the amount of power being used (i.e. the load), set automated alerts and behaviors based on load, and turn individual pieces of equipment on and off with the click of a button! Cyber Switching offers a diverse product line to match a variety of power management and monitoring needs:

The Benefits of Intelligent Power Management

PDUs offer you control of the equipment that you need to manage. By applying the features available in our intelligent PDUs to your existing equipment, you can increase the speed and efficiency of troubleshooting problems when a device stops responding. For example, the standard lights-out management (LOM) found in servers and some network equipment is focused on reporting hardware issues related to the device itself. What happens when the LOM stops responding? If the user relies on the LOM alone, the length of time to remotely determine the problem could take 15 minutes to several days. However, when a PDU is used to monitor electrical flow to equipment, the administrator gains answers to three critical questions:

  • Is power available to the device? There could be a power outage or some other problem affecting the equipment. Knowing whether power is available is critical information for any user.
  • Is the device drawing any power? If a power supply on the device fails or a user accidentally trips over the power cord, this would cause the device to cease drawing power. But how can a user know that the device is not drawing power when the power is still on? Only by monitoring the electrical current being drawn will allow the user to know for sure.
  • Will unplugging the equipment solve the problem? Some problems can be fixed by simply unplugging the equipment, letting it cool down, and plugging it back in. If the device is in the same city, you can accomplish this test within a day or so. But if the device is in a different state or even a different country, this process may take longer. Rather than hiring an on-call technician to power your equipment off and on, PDUs can inexpensively and efficiently perform this task, and many more, remotely.

Load Shedding

Due to the large consumption of power by most corporations, electricity is one of the largest expenses incurred. As a result, corporations are actively searching for ways to reduce their operating expenses.

When the amount of power demand exceeds the amount of electricity supplied, utility companies begin shutting off power to specific areas on a rolling basis so that other areas may use power. This scenario was made infamous in California, and is known as a "rolling blackout." There are two solutions to this problem: build more power plants or load shed.

Load shedding is a preventative method which involves systematically shutting off power to equipment that is considered non-critical, thereby allowing electricity to flow to more critical equipment. Load shedding can be achieved by manually turning off all non-critical equipment, or programming a system to automatically turn off all non-critical equipment.

By utilizing the power control features available on our intelligent PDUs, corporations can program their PDUs to turn off specific equipment, and even specific outlets, when it is not needed. The power monitoring features further allow building administrators to identify equipment or users that draw an excess amount of power.

Through a combination of both techniques, corporations can reduce their electrical expenses. One of Cyber Switching’s customers found that they could save over $1,000,000 per building per year by turning off equipment in their test labs when it was not in use . Not only does the customer save in operating expenses, he or she is seen as a community leader by reducing their demand for power -- a true win-win scenario!