Friday, December 16, 2016

Brian Kennedy, December 12, 2016
Whether you are a veteran or a novice at selecting and implementing a UPS power system, there always seems to be something new to learn.  We called on a few of our local business partner experts to find out some of the most compelling questions commercial customers ask them.  Below are a few of their answers.
Q.  An IT manager with a restaurant group asked:  “Our department works hard to gather a needs assessment from the business managers, can you share a few points we should evaluate?”
A.  “That’s an important one. We often help our customers through this early process. Most businesses benefit by bringing their facilities, IT technology and even executive management together to share needs and goals.  This information lays the foundation for comparing the current situation and developing objectives for upcoming IT and system initiatives. They are asked about criticality of applications, physical space, budgets and more.  Knowing these details ensures the best decision. Finally, by asking each stakeholder, 'What does it mean if you lose power to this app/system?’, you  usually uncover the sensitive criticality factor.  Plus, you can use this information to discuss projects with other vested experts, such as an electrical contractor.”  – Fred J., Vertiv local business partner.
Q.  I remember just last month the facilities director for a regional insurance company needed to know: “What are all the inputs I should gather to develop the right power system?”
A. “Ah, this tends to be the meat and potatoes information that everyone wants in advance of making a UPS selection.  Of course, there are many details to evaluate, but shown here is a summary table with basic evaluation and consideration suggestions.
I.D. planned  systems and connected devicesTabulate device watts, volts and amps, along with power factors and electrical phase 
Determine site's electrical statusIncoming utility, switchgear, panel-boards, voltage, loading, dedicated circuit needs
Examine physical spaceCheck footprint, ceiling, doorway, weight limitations and ventilation 
Determine best location of UPSForm factor required, IT aisle or equipment room?
Determine short term backup time neededEstimate minutes of battery/run-time
Long term backupGenerator or other auxiliary power source if needed
RedundancyDegree of power redundancy needed to meet  fail-safe goals
Distribution of powerNumber of circuits, distance, voltage
I.D.  onsite staff’s power expertiseMatch to criticality with service, support and monitoring
Expected change within 3 yearsPlan for growth, uncertainties

Determining and then discussing these points will lead you to your best power solution. In my example, the respondent was looking for a reliable, flexible, scalable and efficient answer. One of my customers had a similar needs profile, and we specified a 100kVA/kW, 208V Liebert eXM UPS with maintenance bypass, distribution and 8 minutes of battery (at 65% load).  This new UPS most often provides the performance and flexibility demanded in midsize requirements, such as for this insurance firm, with capacity ranges from just 10kVA/kW up to 250kVA/kW.” Benjamin E., Vertiv local business partner.
Q. Recently I had an executive with an IT provider enquire:  “We operate three colocation facilities and we have been evaluating methods to better support the critical needs of several clients who want enhanced SLA availability levels.  What should we look for in our UPS performance in this reserve power architecture?”  
A. “With our extensive experience working with colocation providers, we were able to offer consultation on their power configurations and recommend modifications to the electrical system so they could leverage both dedicated and shared reserve bus architectures.  This enabled the company to offer tailored levels of redundancy that matched their customers’ applications. Our large UPS systems support rapid electrical loading, which allows for a more reliable reserve system.”  Tim G. – Vertiv local business partner.
Q. “I know a friend through my medical association who recently experienced headaches and delays when their contractor was unpacking and connecting the new UPS.  How could he have avoided this?” – Rebecca W., Network director of a 100 bed medical facility. 
A. “A UPS installation should not be a problem or painful experience ... in fact, it should be the answer to a problem. With good product design, coupled with effective planning by experienced partners, most everyone can avoid difficulties.  For example, our Liebert eXM UPS ships with a built-in ramp for easy deployment, it’s also designed to assemble quicker and has excellent access points for cabling. Plus, a team of onsite experts oversee the start-up and work with the key partners to ensure a smooth, painless install.”  Mark A., Vertiv local business partner.
Q. “I select and install UPS systems for my customers.  I remember a few jobs where the UPS didn’t have the options needed to address the customer’s requirements.  That forced me to source add-ons, which added cost and didn’t integrate or perform as advertised.  I can’t afford a damaged reputation. I found your solutions a better fit.”  - Jose P., electrical contractor.
A. “We’re glad to hear Jose is enjoying our solutions.  All of our UPS systems are professionally designed and tested.  Most components are factory installed. Our local experts follow a thorough process to ensure selection and installation integrity. With innovations like the optimized ancillaries, which actually enhance the performance, footprint and efficiency of the power system, we can meet needs more efficiently.”  Steve C., Vertiv local business partner.
Q. Here’s one from our rep who worked with a law firm earlier this year, and their attorney in charge posed this situation. “Our legal practice has 5 offices scattered around the state.  Revenue billing requires us to keep our client and research systems working.  A network coordinator was routinely traveling to check on systems.  We don’t want to needlessly send that person on the road to check on things like the power operations. Is there a better way to manage this?”
A. “This legal executive’s eyes lit up when I described the benefits of our exclusive LIFE™ Services.  I mentioned that this option provides secure, remote monitoring of the UPS system by our power experts. Remote monitoring can help prevent problems by diagnosing UPS status and even proactively dispatching service if and only when needed. This solution removed the pressure this firm had with supporting critical UPS power given their limited resources.” Alexandro O., Vertiv local business partner.
Our experts get questions like this every day, and are happy to share their expertise with the data center professionals who ask them.
Maybe you have a question that needs answered?  Just contact us.

Designing a better power distribution unit (PDU)

written by John Day December 14, 2016

Legacy PDU manufacturers do not support the mission-critical power needs required by today’s facility managers. Their stagnant design continues to promote an inherent and unnecessary danger to PDU maintenance workers. Many of these legacy devices continue to trade innovation for low-cost production -- at the expense of safety.  To ensure that you are investing in the best of breed PDU products, facility managers and engineers need to add a series of questions to their PDU evaluations to avoid dangerous consequences.
These questions include:
  • Is it possible to safely work on an energized PDU, even with proper PPE?
  • Can you safely add loads while the unit is under power?
  • Is there proper component separation and isolation in the PDU?
  • Is the PDU metering proprietary or off the shelf?
  • If proprietary, can it be easily upgraded, customized or replaced in the field?
  • Are thermal magnetic breakers offered and will they trip if the ambient temperature is raised in the data center?
  • Will the PDU manufacturer perform custom modifications and designs if requested or when necessary?
One of the main and recurring issues in a legacy PDU is that the direct fault of a distribution breaker could result in cascading faults throughout the entire unit -- causing a complete shutdown of the all the loads that are carried by that PDU. However, if the distribution breaker is properly isolated, the fault could be limited to a single compartment and a single load.
The fact is, next-generation PDU designers are addressing all the aforementioned issues. They realize that safety does not have to come at a high price tag and insightful PDU changes can dramatically improve safety during maintenance procedures. For example, compartmentalization of components is an effective way to provide a safer product.
This simple, but innovative procedure includes the separation of:
  • Metering
  • Distribution breakers
  • Main breakers
  • TVSS
  • Transformer
By offering this isolation for each component, the risk of personal injury and damage to the other components, are significantly diminished. It cannot be emphasized enough that applying component isolation has many advantages over legacy devices. Facility and plant engineers need to consider the following for each PDU option:
  • Metering:
    • Legacy manufacturers are offering outdated and proprietary metering not suited for today’s mission-critical facility needs.
    • By using readily available and off-the-shelf products, metering can be enhanced without requiring custom mounting arrangements.
    • By using a plug-and-play system, products can be configured to provide both isolation and an easy method to replace metering if it fails in the field.
  • Main Circuit Breaker:
    • By isolating the main breaker, it increases safety and serviceability.
    • The breaker may be segregated in such a way that it is not exposed to the transformer or any other component.
  • Transformer:
    • Transformers should be completely isolated -- all other components can be separated from the other PDU components.
    • Transformers have better thermal characteristics if they are isolated, because there will be no heat transferred to the transformer cabinet from other components.
    • Compartmentalization provides enhanced safety.
  • Distribution Breakers
    • Electronic trip to eliminate nuisance tripping due to higher ambient temperature in the data center
    • Isolation for safe serviceability without shut down
    • ISO Compartments for safe connection of future loads without shutdown.
  • TVSS & Other Accessories:
    • Isolating components to a single compartment promotes easier service and maintenance procedures.
When considering PDU needs for any facility, plant managers, engineers and facility operators need to consider units with an ISO compartment, capable of safely connecting future loads -- without shutting down the entire PDU.  This innovative design provides for complete isolation of distribution breakers so the load can be connected without shutting down the PDU.
Compromising worker safety for cost-effective PDUs is not a wise business decision. Today's innovative PDU offerings blend innovative engineering that is capable of reducing human error, by protecting facility maintenance personnel from accidental and potentially life threatening injury. You would never consider transporting your family in a vehicle without seat belts or airbags -- why expose your workers to the life-threatening risks inherent within legacy PDU products?
John Day VP of Sales and Marketing at Anord Critical Power, Inc., (ACPI) a recognized leader and innovator in the power distribution market.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Emerson Network Power Rebrands As Vertiv, Appoints New CEO

Columbus, Ohio – (Dec. 1, 2016) – The business now formerly known as Emerson Network Power today announced the appointment of Rob Johnson as CEO and officially commenced a campaign to rebrand the standalone company as Vertiv.

Vertiv is a global provider of mission-critical infrastructure technologies for vital applications in data centers, communication networks, and commercial and industrial environments. The company, which is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio (USA), has more than 20,000 employees and more than 25 manufacturing and assembly facilities worldwide.

Platinum Equity acquired the business today from Emerson in a transaction valued in excess of $4 billion.  Emerson also retained a minority interest in the company.

Mr. Johnson, most recently an operating partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, spent 10 years at American Power Conversion (APC), a leader in data center infrastructure.  He was President and CEO of APC when the company was sold to Schneider Electric for $6.1 billion in 2007.  While at APC he also served as General Manager of the company’s Availability Enhancement Group.

Bryan Kelln, partner and president of portfolio operations at Platinum Equity, said Mr. Johnson’s leadership skills and technical expertise make him a perfect fit to lead Vertiv.

“Rob has a unique blend of industry knowledge, operational acumen and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Mr. Kelln. “This is a transformational opportunity for the company and we believe Rob is the right leader to grow the business as we establish a culture focused on speed, innovation and customer service.”

In addition to his career at APC, Mr. Johnson has worked in executive positions at Consolidated Container Corporation, a provider of rigid plastic packaging solutions.

In 1989, Mr. Johnson founded Systems Enhancement Corporation (SEC), a company that created innovative software and hardware solutions for the Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) industry. He sold the company to APC in 1997.

“Rob knows the technology inside out, especially in data center environments, and understands what customers need,” added Mr. Kelln.  “He knows what it takes as a CEO to inspire employees and lead a profitable, global enterprise.  He’s also an innovator who shares our vision for what Vertiv can become as a standalone business.”

Mr. Johnson said the transition to new ownership provides a unique opportunity for the company.

“It’s a fresh start for a business that already has so much going for it. I look forward to working with my new colleagues at Vertiv as we begin this transformational chapter in the company’s history,” said Mr. Johnson. “As an independent company, Vertiv will operate with great freedom to make business strategy and investment decisions, move more quickly like a startup, and focus on innovative solutions for our customers, including those in the growing cloud computing, mobile and IoT networks.”

Vertiv will build on the broad portfolio of product and service offerings for power, thermal and IT management capabilities it previously offered as Emerson Network Power, including its industry-leading flagship brands ASCO®, Chloride®, Liebert®, NetSure™ and Trellis™.

Platinum Equity Partner Jacob Kotzubei said that Platinum Equity’s M&A and operational resources, and the firm’s strong relationship with Emerson, will benefit Vertiv in the short and long term.

“We will support Vertiv’s growth and product innovation every step of the way, both organically and through prospective add-on acquisitions,” said Mr. Kotzubei.  “This is our second partnership with Emerson and we have had great success together.  We look forward to a seamless transition and an exciting future for Vertiv and the customers it serves.”

In November 2013 Platinum Equity acquired a controlling stake in Emerson’s embedded computing and power business, which was later rebranded Artesyn Embedded Technologies.

In support of its rebranding as Vertiv, the company has unveiled its new website at and starting in January 2017, will launch an advertising campaign to introduce its new brand with the theme “Your Mission is Critical.” The campaign will run in major business and technology industry print and online media, such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fast Company, Wired, TechCrunch and IDG Tech Network.

Vertiv supports its business customers’ evolving needs in digital infrastructure, including solutions for mobile, cloud and edge computing, as well as in data center collocation, energy storage and sustainability. The company has sales and service personnel in virtually every major country, backed by over 255 service centers worldwide, with over 3,000 service field engineers and more than 400 technical support/response people.

About Vertiv

Vertiv designs, builds and services critical infrastructure that enables vital applications for data centers, communication networks, and commercial and industrial facilities. Formerly Emerson Network Power, Vertiv supports today’s growing mobile and cloud computing markets with a portfolio of power, thermal and infrastructure management solutions including the ASCO®, Chloride®, Liebert®, NetSure and Trellis brands. Sales in fiscal  2016 were $4.4 billion. For more information, visit

About Platinum Equity

Founded in 1995 by Tom Gores, Platinum Equity is a global investment firm with a portfolio of approximately 30 operating companies that serve customers around the world. Platinum Equity specializes in mergers and operations – a trademarked strategy it calls M&A&O® - acquiring and operating companies in a broad range of business markets, including manufacturing, distribution, transportation and logistics, equipment rental, metals services, media and entertainment, technology, telecommunications and other industries. Over the past 20 years, Platinum Equity has completed more than 185 acquisitions.