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Tech Tip: How to Use the New Tabular eConnect SNMP MIB to Enable Secure Array Cost Savings While Simplifying DCIM Integration

March 04, 2021

More organizations today are drifting towards hosted data centers and edge compute locations. Both trends require an effective cabinet-level remote management strategy. The need has increased even more as companies are now also tasked to manage and optimize their data centers remotely.

With the ability to monitor power, environmental parameters and access control at the cabinet level, intelligent rack power distribution units (PDUs) have become the foundation of an effective monitoring strategy. The information from rack PDUs is captured within Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software applications. DCIM software allows consolidated monitoring, reporting and provisioning of all intelligent data center infrastructure equipment.

Reducing Networking Costs... How Can Intelligent PDUs and Secure Array® IP Consolidation Technology Help?

A challenge associated with deployment of intelligent PDUs is the sheer cost of networking all of them with a separate IP address.

CPI eConnect® PDUs utilize Secure Array®​ IP Consolidation technology, which allows up to 48 eConnect PDUs without integrated electronic locks or 32 with integrated locks, to be managed through one single primary IP address; or an additional alternate IP address for a redundant communication path in the event a network connection within the array is compromised. This helps reduce networking costs by as much as 90%.

BLOG-SNMP-ECONNECT-pdu-secure-array.jpg

How Do Intelligent PDUs Integrate with DCIM Software Applications?

Information obtained from rack PDUs is normally pushed into DCIM applications using Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).

There are three versions of SNMP, all of which are supported by eConnect PDUs:
  • Version 1: Information can be read from device. No write allowed. 
  • Version 2c: Information can be read from device or write to device.
  • Version 3: Read and write are allowed with different level of securities, authorities, and privileges.
Integration through SNMP utilizes a Management Information Base (MIB) – an ASCII file that contains collection of information related to the managed device organized in a hierarchical fashion. The MIB file for eConnect is downloadable from the CPI website.

SNMP Blog Resources

The MIB file includes all the managed or controlled features of the product, each one of them having a unique identifier referred to as “Object Identifiers” (OIDs). An example of an OID specifically used to capture branch current information is shown below:

eConnect PDU Branch Alert

Legacy MIB Approach and Limitations

In the past, MIB files utilized a scalar approach to the organization of the object identifiers (OIDs). There was an OID set for each individual parameter tied to the rack PDU on the network. This approach works well when every individual PDU on the network has its own IP address.

Using this approach in a Secure Array scenario, a MAC address had to be appended to each individual OID to be able to uniquely identify the specific PDU within the array from which data is being captured. This would make the OID extremely long and in some cases would exceed the limitations imposed within some MIB browsers. Dependency on the MAC address required amending all OIDs related to a PDU, if it had to be replaced.

How Does This New SNMP MIB Approach Address Secure Array Limitations?

The new eConnect PDU SNMP MIB utilizes a tabular approach for Secure Array information wherein a single OID is used to capture a particular dataset tied to all the PDUs within the Secure Array.

eConnect PDU Secure Array Tables
 
Obtaining information associated with a particular parameter for all PDU’s within the array requires viewing of all information in the table format as shown below:

Blog-eConnect-PDU-SNMP-Branch-Table-Mouse.png

The data is collected from the Primary PDU and it is organized into one or multiple rows, depending on the number of PDUs within the array. Each row in the table represents a single PDU in the array.

blog-eConnect-PDU-SNMP-Branch-Table-where.png

This approach removes the dependency of the MAC address into the OIDs, enabling them to be used within a Secure Array scenario. The OID itself is significantly shorter, which allows use with all DCIM applications. The tabular approach also helps consolidate information for all branches and outlets as well as information obtained from integrated environmental sensors or electronic locks within a single OID, making the overall MIB tree significantly shorter and easy to use.

Within a Secure Array table, each PDU within the array could have up to 12 rows of data to cover branches; 72 rows for outlets; 6 rows to cover line currents; 32 rows of data to cover temperature/humidity sensors and one row to cover integrated electronic lock information.

In Summary...

Use of intelligent PDUs along with a DCIM application continues to be on the rise as organizations grapple with developing an effective remote management strategy. To minimize the networking costs associated with intelligent PDUs, organizations should consider taking advantage of CPI eConnect Secure Array IP Consolidation technology. The new tabular SNMP MIB approach allows DCIM integration of PDUs within a Secure Array. Together, the new MIB approach along with the Secure Array technology reduces networking costs while simplifying DCIM integration.

To learn more about Secure Array IP Consolidation and just how much you can save, check out this handy Savings Estimator. 

To learn more about DCIM Software, specifically Power IQ® for eConnect, click here.

            
 Ashish Moondra          Tom Tu
Posted by Ashish Moondra, CPI Sr. Product Manager, Power, Electronics & Software and Tom Tu, CPI Sr. Staff Engineer Electronics & Software, Electronics Operations at 3/4/2021 11:20:29 AM
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