Advantages of Factory-Built Power Whips

Advantages of factory-built power whips are significant for data center operators. Since power whips are a vital component in distributing power to data center servers, it’s important to ensure they are reliable and cost-effective. Historically, power whips were built onsite by contractors, which can be time-consuming, inefficient, and costly. 

Fortunately, factory-built power whips are now available as a less expensive and higher-quality alternative to building power cables onsite. Understanding the differences between factory-built versus site-built power cables can help you make the best choice.

The Importance of Power Whips 

Power whips distribute electricity to computer servers in cabinets across the data center. Because power whips vary in length and power load, they are custom-made to the required specifications.  Thus, making power whips is a vital but potentially expensive part of operating a data center. 

Factory-built power whips offer significant advantages over site-built power cables. They are less expensive, take less time to assemble, and provide higher-quality assemblies built by contractors. 

Reduce the Cost of Power Whips

Using factory-built power whips is one way to cut costs in your data center without sacrificing the quality and safety of operations. If you purchase power whips from an original equipment manufacturer, you can reduce the cost of ownership by 30-40%. In addition, you can increase vendor diversity and save money by eliminating intermediaries who inflate expenses. 

Save Time on Assembling and Installing Power Whips

Saving time is often equally as important as reducing costs, and purchasing factory-built power whips can accelerate the process from beginning to end. With customer support available to process quotes, purchase orders, and tracking requests, you can receive a quote in 24 hours or less and reduce order turnaround time to less than 48 hours. 

In addition, an assembly line shortens production time, getting the product into your hands as quickly as possible. Factory-built power whips contrast significantly to having power whips constructed on-site, which can be delayed by many factors, including unavailable or insufficient workers, poor planning, and missing materials. 

Improve the Quality of Your Power Whips

Data centers store and process critical information for businesses, and downtime can be financially devastating. It’s therefore essential to use high-quality products like factory-built power whips. They have custom labeling, protected with clear heat shrink, to simplify and accelerate installation processes. In addition, the components are from name-brand companies that build in the United States. Most importantly, all components are UL listed, meaning they have undergone rigorous testing. When you purchase factory-built rather than on-site whips, the concern about finding high-quality materials is taken out of your hands, ensuring you get the best possible product for your money.

Standardize Your Power Whips

Businesses, particularly those with multiple sites, sometimes work with various contractors to build and install power whips. As a result, there is little to no standardization of components or labeling. 

When you purchase factory-built power whips, they will be standardized in terms of: 

  • Components
  • Colors
  • Receptacles
  • Labels
  • Testing

Standardization ensures you build power whips with equivalent specifications across all your data centers. It also simplifies maintenance or repairs in the future. 

Improve the Quality Assurance of Power Whips

Factory-built power whips and power circuits undergo quality assurance tests, including: 

  • HIPOT testing to ensure no arcing or shorting of any conductor within the cable
  • Load bank testing to mimic the maximum load in your data center 
  • Camera detection to ensure proper wire gauge and phasing 

These and other quality control and testing measures can alleviate stress about the product’s dependability. 

Factory-Built Power Whips are More Convenient

Using factory-built rather than site-built power whips is also far more convenient. You will save time by having access to: 

  • A one-stop shop for the power whips and circuit breakers needed at all of your sites
  • Site-specific customizations, which are kept on file for future orders
  • Order templates for a faster turnaround on quotes and large orders 
  • Centralized customer support through all phases, including program development, implementation, and any ongoing needs

Ultimately, purchasing factory-built power whips is far more accessible and streamlined with consistent pricing than on-site production. In other words, factory-built whips help your business save time and money. 

Power whips will continue playing a central role in the efficient and reliable operation of data centers. Working with a custom cable builder that assembles in a controlled factory environment helps create a reliable, efficient, and safe data center that best serves your organization’s needs. In addition, purchasing factory-built power whips is an excellent option to reduce costs and the amount of time it takes to assemble, order, and install power whips. 

ProSource is a leading data center maintenance product and service provider that provides custom factory-built data center power whips. Visit ProSource online at www.team-prosource.com  for more information or call (888) 247-0986. You can also get an online power whips quote based on your specific needs at https://www.team-prosource.com/power-cable-quote-request/.

Preventive Maintenance Standards for Data Centers

When it comes to data protection, many people think of encryption and ransomware detection but fail to consider data center preventive maintenance. Unfortunately, even the most sophisticated data center will fail if the physical space isn’t properly maintained. 

Data loss and downtime can cost companies thousands if not millions of dollars. To avoid them, it’s important to understand the necessary steps to keep a data center running smoothly. 

Why Preventive Maintenance Matters

Preventive maintenance is essential for the long-term success of a data center facility. Critical hardware requires a constant supply of power, appropriate temperatures, a lack of dust, and protection from natural disasters like fires.

When a data center fails, it can have devastating consequences. In 2020, the Uptime Institute surveyed IT managers and found that the majority of data center outages had cost more than $100,000, and nearly a third of respondents reported costs at or above $1 million. Fortunately, outages can often be prevented with planning and regular maintenance. 

Systems that Require Preventive Maintenance

Data centers rely on the same systems as other facilities, but special attention must be paid to their condition. If even one of these systems is improperly maintained, it can lead to hardware failure. 

HVAC

Data centers run on servers, which generate significant heat. For this reason, HVAC maintenance is of the utmost importance. 

A few key steps can optimize HVAC system performance, preventing outages and reducing energy costs. 

  • Perform recommended preventive maintenance for HVAC air handlers, including cleaning coils to achieve energy efficiency.
  • Consistently change filters to prevent dust accumulation.
  • Schedule preventive maintenance for chillers, including checking for leaks, oil and pressure levels, and electrical components.
  • Regularly inspect equipment for the buildup of limescale or other deposits. 
  • Inspect the subfloor plenum to look for problems that could interfere with the HVAC system’s ability to function.
  • Look for and clean any dust or debris accumulations under or around the air conditioning unit.

While it’s impossible to prevent every HVAC failure, a maintenance schedule helps detect and fix minor issues that could become big problems. 

Floors

Raised floors make room for expansive systems of cables and wiring and allow for sufficient airflow and cooling. Data center raised flooring preventive maintenance includes annual inspections to ensure that they are structurally sound, replacement of warped or delaminated panels, and rotating panels in high-traffic areas. 

In addition, raised floor cleaning is essential. This includes daily vacuuming to remove dust and debris. You should also schedule professional quarterly cleaning of the raised floor and subfloor plenum cleaning at least twice a year. 

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

Failed power systems are one of the most frequently cited causes of data center downtime and data loss.  Unfortunately, many businesses experience UPS failure because they have not maintained and serviced the system properly. 

To avoid a potential power outage, it’s vital that you perform preventive maintenance for UPS systems, including: 

  • Monitoring battery life 
  • Conducting physical inspections 
  • Testing capacitors 
  • Calibrating equipment

Even if your UPS system has never been used, the battery life will still diminish over time. Continue to perform preventive maintenance for battery backup systems regardless of how frequently they have been used.

Generators

Generators are also key to protecting a data center in the event of power loss. There is a long list of tasks for preventive maintenance for generators and diesel fuel, but some of the most important ones are: 

  • Monitoring oil and coolant levels and inspecting for leaks
  • Inspecting exhaust pipes and air filters
  • Checking the fuel supply level and refueling when necessary

Well-maintained generators can mean the difference between a lengthy period of downtime and an operational data center. 

Fire Protection

Although data center fires are rare, it is worth the effort and expense to ensure that your business is properly protected from them. No matter what sort of system you choose to install, preventive maintenance for fire detection and suppression measures is critical. 

Among the tasks you will need to complete are maintaining your sprinklers, verifying the functionality of fire alarms, testing smoke detectors, and ensuring that all fire extinguishers are in working order. 

Cleaning

While many elements of a preventive maintenance plan may occur annually or every six months, you should have a daily routine for data center cleaning preventive maintenance. 

More specifically, your routine should focus on eliminating contaminants like dust and ferrous metal. If left unchecked, they can cause disk errors, overheating, and server failures. 

Basic daily cleaning significantly improves the stability of your data center hardware. This, in turn, helps avoid service interruptions, which can be extremely detrimental to any business’s long-term success. 

Seeking Maintenance and Cleaning Services

Properly maintaining your data center might seem like an overwhelming prospect, but there are resources available to help. You can partner with third-party providers for each of your data center’s systems and rely on the expertise of professional data center cleaners

While maintenance and cleaning may seem like an unnecessary investment, in reality, they save significant amounts of money by preventing data loss and downtimes. 

Sources

“Uptime Institute Releases 3rd Annual Outage Analysis” Uptime Institute

“Controlling Data Centers’ Air Pollution, Environmental Control to Ensure Equipment, Systems Reliability” ASHRAE

About the author: Kama Offenberger’s first writing position was at a chain of community radio stations where she wrote promotions, public service announcements, technical manuals, scripts, and news stories. She was then an English instructor for fifteen years and has written articles in the field of higher education. Kama has also worked as a ghostwriter in many different areas, including personal biographies, technology, real estate, entertainment, and home improvement. 

Save Time and Money with Factory-built Power Whips

Save time and money with factory-built power whips. Traditionally data center power cables are made onsite by electrical contractors and often take longer to build for a higher price. Recently, a Fortune 500 company with multiple data center locations wanted to save time and money when installing new power whips at its data centers. After careful analysis, they determined they could save time and money compared to site-built cables.

Current situation and issues

The company had multiple data centers with more than 5 million square feet. They were having trouble keeping pace with the number of new power whips installs they needed for new cabinets and were concerned about the time and cost of using local electrical contractors. In addition, they had multiple contractors with no standardization for components or testing protocols.

As a result, they had little understanding of lead times, costs, and testing. So, they wanted to improve and standardize the ordering process, the whip components, testing procedures, reduce turnaround time and installation time, and save money.

Desired state and goals

First, they wanted to reduce turnaround on orders to keep with demand for new cabinet installs and speed up installation. They also wanted to standardize the process, so each facility used the same standard method for ordering whips with the same components to meet quality standards as specified by their engineers.

In addition, they wanted to improve the quality process to include testing protocols to ensure no arcing, shorting, proper phase rotation, and ground integrity of every power whip. They also wanted to achieve UL Listing for power whip assemblies made to their exact specifications with custom labels that provided circuit number, equipment, PDU panel, receptacle, length, and certification.

Finally, they wanted to reduce vendors and leverage their spending with one vendor to secure the best pricing possible for all their power whip needs.

The process and proposed solutions

The critical stakeholders considered replacing contractor site-built power whips with factory-built power whips. This promised to reduce product costs, faster turnaround on quotes and orders, factory testing, and better quality control. This also would ensure UL Listed components were used to build assemblies with custom labels to offer easier installation, and provide centralized customer support and reporting.

They reviewed factory-built power whips made with high-quality UL-listed components. They also visited the factory to view the manufacturing process. They wanted to make sure that quality occurred at each phase of production.

They learned that all connections were electronically torqued with precision tools, and final cable assemblies passed stringent testing standards before shipping. Tests included HIPOT testing to ensure no arcing or shorting of any conductor within the cable, load bank testing that tested the maximum rated load that a cable would be placed under in the data center, and camera detection to ensure proper gauge and phasing of wires.

Key advantages and improvements

After testing and implementing a factory-built program, the company improved processes, quality and reduced costs. First, they were able to standardize the ordering process and reduce lead time to 48 hours with centralized quoting and reporting. They also improved quality with better testing and quality control and experienced fewer cable failures. Plus, the labeling system also allowed them to reduce installation time. More importantly, they reduced their total costs by 30% over site-built cables.

For more information about factory-built power, whips visit our website at www.team-prosource.com.

Geist Intelligent PDUs: Power with Flexibility

Geist intelligent PDUs provide intelligence with the flexibility to upgrade technology as needs change. These intelligent PDUs offer options for basic power to sophisticated power monitoring with switched and outlet monitoring capabilities. Geist intelligent PDUs adapt to your business well into the future. 

Features and benefits include:

Fault-tolerant daisy chaining

Fault-tolerant daisy chaining simplifies intelligent PDU connectivity and ensures data is reported, even with a break in the chain.

Input power monitoring

Input power monitoring to 1% accuracy (ANSI and IEC) allows data center managers to accurately reconcile power usage.

U-lock outlets

U-Lock outlets securely lock cords in place using the patented U-Lock technology. Each outlet is color-coded by phase and/or circuit to assure load balancing is easily achieved.

Environmental monitoring

Monitor environmental conditions such as airflow, temperature, humidity and dew point and more.

USB integration

Utilize USB for enhanced data logging, firmware updates, and optional WiFi support.

Alternating outlets

Better manage power cables within the rack and reduce your risk of downtime with phase alternated outlets.

Upgradeable intelligence

Hot-swap Interchangeable Monitoring Devices (IMD) without interrupting power to critical equipment.

For more information on rack-mounted PDUs please visit our website at www.team-prosource.com.