News Column

Tripp Lite Introduces a New Touch to Data Centres

August 28, 2014

Lilian Mutegi



Data centers have their roots in the huge computer rooms of the early ages of the computing era when computer systems were complex to operate and maintain, and required a special environment in which to run from.

Many cables were necessary to connect all the components, and methods to accommodate and organize these were devised, from standard racks to mount equipment and raised floors and cables. Also, a single mainframe required a great deal of power, and had to be cooled to avoid overheating. Security was important computers were expensive, and were often used for military purposes.

Then came the boom of data centers during the dot-com bubble. Companies needed fast Internet connectivity and nonstop operation to deploy systems and establish a presence on the Internet. New technologies and practices were designed to handle the scale and the operational requirements of such large-scale operations. These practices eventually migrated toward the private data centers, and were adopted largely because of their practical results.

With an increase in the uptake of cloud computing, business and government organizations are scrutinizing data centres to a higher degree in areas such as security, availability, environmental impact and adherence to standards. There is still a lot of development being done in operation practice, and also in environmentally-friendly data center design.

It is in relation to the evolution of data centres and the technologies surrounding it that companies like Tripp Lite are now developing an array of data centre infrastructure hardware solutions, including a broad line of closed and open frame rack enclosures, power distribution units (including networked and managed PDUs in both single- and 3-phase), cooling solutions, KVM and KVM IP switches and literally thousands of cables and connectivity accessories.

In addressing the specific needs of the data center customer, Tripp Lite adds customization capability to its product development practice, enabling a "solution sales" structure for this market.

Founded in 1922, Tripp Lite pioneered the market for Uninterruptable Power Supplies (UPS) for PCs in the early 80's and has since been a major player, further expanding into the 3-Phase market.

Tripp Lite later broadened its power solutions offering by developing pure sine wave power inverters and backup batteries.

According to Darwin Haines, VP, EMEA & Asia, Tripp Lite, the firm has offered a substantial range of products for the data centre. "Our message to the Data Centre manager is simple and stands out in the crowd: Power, Protect and Connect your Infrastructure with Tripp Lite products. The trend in recent years is the convergence of the Data Centre infrastructure groups and Tripp Lite is right there, where Facility and IT converge," said Haines. " Our message of an Integrated Solution means that we offer UPS, PDUs, Racks, Rack accessories, Cooling and Cabling traditionally coming from the facility side and Remote Management in the form of IP KVM and Console Servers coming from the IT side. Our vendor neutral designs integrate seamlessly in any configuration."

Haines explained that KVM switches provide the necessary Out Of Band control, from the BIOS level, of remote Application Servers. This is the only way to fix hanging servers with OS issues and to prevent, or at least minimize, critical down time that is the nightmare of any business, from small to enterprise.

"The first thing to look for in a KVM switch, beyond the feature set of secure and remote - over IP - server control, is the real-time user experience while running a remote session. This means a Data Centre admin can remotely fix problems, from his desk, with his own keyboard, screen and mouse as if he was physically connected to the server, on premise! The second thing to look for in a KVM solution is cost effective and easy to operate management capability, which becomes an absolute must-have in deployments of 3-5 switches or more," states Haines.

When it comes to PDUs, there is always variety. Haines explained that end users can decide which is right for them through balancing the relatively high cost of a switched PDU versus the relatively low cost of a basic PDU model.

"Basic PDUs are, as their title implies, basic in function. These units provide highly-reliable power distribution to multiple pieces of equipment. Basic PDUs feature multiple outlets, a long input power cord and housing with versatile mounting options. This, for some simpler set ups, would be an adequate solution. Monitored, switched, and ATS PDUs (Auto Transfer Switch) also provide the same reliable power distribution, but with added features," he stated.

Metered PDUs offer the addition of a digital load meter. The meter allows network managers to monitor the total power consumption (in amps) of equipment connected to the PDU. Monitored PDUs provide remote monitoring and alerts to prevent overloads that can cause downtime. This is made possible by the built-in ethernet interface that allows users to manage PDUs over the IP network via SNMP, standard web browser, or telnet.

Switched PDUs allow network managers the ability to remotely reboot locked devices. The interface allows managers to remotely control power to individual PDU outlets via an ethernet network connection. This feature also extends runtime for critical equipment during a power failure.

Finally, ATS PDU systems normally provide output to all outlets from the primary input cable. If power on the primary input cable is interrupted or becomes unstable, the ATS automatically switches over to the secondary input cable and maintains continuous operation of vital networking equipment without interruption.

Cabinets and racks are also becoming more sophisticated and due to many advances that have been made in the realms of data security and environmental concerns."Our rack line consists of products with the most advanced data security mechanisms, from PCI compliant racks and locking collation models to custom cabinets with built-in keypads that can record when the rack was accessed and by who. These racks help protect the end-users sensitive data and invaluable reputation," he added

Because some sites are more rugged than others, Tripp Lite has developed racks that can withstand harsh work environments and protect valuable equipment from dust and vibrations (SR42UBEIS) and racks that can withstand earthquake conditions (SR42UBZ4). Such racks are in high demand in locations such as mining locations as well as factory or manufacturing environments.


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Source: AllAfrica


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