How Edge Site Operators Can Improve Power Redundancy and Streamline Management

Jeremy Stearns •

Torrid edge site growth is challenging data center and IT teams’ ability to manage local power operations effectively. Despite the criticality of edge sites to the customer experience, the reality is that these sites experience significant outages – up to 5.39 over the past 24 months.

One of the leading causes of unplanned downtime, of course, is power loss. Data centers have big budgets for power redundancy, which involves main switchboards, backup generators, uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) and power distribution units (PDUs) to achieve N+1, 2N, 2N+1 or even 2N+2 status. However, edge sites are typically run as leaner operations. Many of these sites are small and scrappy, operating as mini or modular data centers; server rooms or network closets; or freestanding, secured racks of equipment. As a result, data center and IT teams need a fit-for-purpose approach that provides desired power redundancy and intelligence, while increasing business flexibility and stretching limited IT budgets.

Rack Transfer Switches – Ensuring Redundant Power at Your Edge Sites

Rack transfer switches (RTSs) (also called auto transfer switches or ATSs) accomplish all of these goals. Available in multiple power configurations, these devices provide ultra-fast, automatic power switching to a secondary source when the primary one fails. They then ensure that single-corded IT equipment remains powered until the primary source is restored, at which point the power is switched back. Fail-safe fused thermistors prevent power surges during transfers, protecting critical IT equipment from harm during failovers. All of these capabilities protect valuable business operations, while ensuring that power issues are invisible to users and customers.

So, what makes RTSs ideal for edge sites and data centers that use single-corded devices? They:

  • Provide ultra-fast switching capabilities: When your data center or edge site loses primary power, an RTS will switch seamlessly over to the new power source in as few as four to eight milliseconds. As a result, there will be no impact to your business users, applications or technology. And with high-retention outlets, you can avoid the risk of accidental disconnections, due to onsite technician mishaps or errors, that could cause unwanted downtime.

  • Avoid the need for phase synchronization: You can buy an RTS that uses a break-before-make process for power transfer, eliminating the need for phase synchronization between two power feeds. Instead, you can simply plug your single-corded devices into the RTS to enable redundant power operations fast and easily, without requiring an electrician to verify that input sources are synchronized.

  • Decrease the cost of redundant power capabilities: RTSs provide a compelling alternative to uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs). They are affordably priced, making RTSs a sound choice for edge sites as small as a single rack.

  • Improve power and environmental monitoring: RTSs excel at providing critical information that data center and IT teams can use to optimize conditions and power load levels. An RTS will enable you to measure power consumption to within 1% accuracy, as tested to American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards. Simply add external sensors to proactively monitor temperature, humidity, airflow, door position, flood detection and more. Automatic alerts provide instant warning of any anomalies, enabling you to act before power issues harm your data centers or edge sites.

  • Gain greater business and operational flexibility: To date, data center and edge site operators have often had to overprovision C13 and C19 outlets to make sure they had enough on hand for C14 and C20 power cables. That could lead to excessive IT spending, IT and power equipment mismatches, as well as obsolete equipment that delivered little or no value. Now, it’s possible to buy RTSs with a Combination Outlet C13/C19, eliminating the need to buy separate outlets or adapters.

  • Simplify management processes: With a two-in-one outlet, it’s easier to buy, store, use and manage RTS devices. In addition, a leading RTS with intelligence can provide IP aggregation, enabling you to aggregate up to 50 single-corded devices on a single IP address. You can conserve IP addresses, while also ensuring that you get power information in any condition due to built-in fault tolerance.

  • Support greater rack densities: Organizations are digitizing the customer experience and delivering more digital products and services, increasing the need for high-performance computing. If your RTS provides up to 24 outlets in a 2U horizontal form factor, you can support higher rack densities at your edge site or data center. And with its small form factor, an RTS can be easily mounted horizontally within any standard rack or cabinet.

  • Plan for the future: RTS devices are increasingly upgradeable, meaning that you can add the capabilities you need, when you need them, while reducing the total cost of ownership. Similarly, intelligent models are constantly evolving to add more data. As a result, the interchangeable monitoring device is hot-swappable, enabling you to update intelligence without removing power from critical technology.

Introducing the Vertiv™ Geist™ Rack Transfer Switch

Vertiv is pleased to announce the release of its next-generation Vertiv Geist RTS delivers power redundancy capabilities at data center and edge sites, enabling you to ensure the continuity of IT services your business requires.

Vertiv Geist RTS is available in a variety of single-phase electric and form factors, meeting more of your power needs. The device provides a front panel display that allows you to identify active power sources and do manual power switching for equipment maintenance. Vertiv Geist RTS offers ultra-fast automatic switching in four to eight milliseconds and maintains power until primary power sources are restored.

Equipped with a Combination Outlet C13/C19 on select models, Vertiv Geist RTS also provides you with much needed flexibility now and in the future, supporting your ever-changing rack power requirements and reducing equipment spending. Finally, optional intelligence provides deep insights into power usage, IP aggregation capabilities and more.

Learn more about Vertiv™ Geist™ Rack Transfer Switch today.


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