Introduction

Thor focuses on two aspects of the IT infrastructure: reliability and transparency. These two aspects form the central element of the Empalme system. Empalme is a Datacenter power and environment management solution, supplying everything necessary to perform control and monitoring operations on as many Datacenter rooms as you need. This functionality is provided in a 3 layer structure. The first layer consists of the mains distributing equipment. The Power Distribution Units. But also several environmental sensors and interfaces. The second layer connects these pieces of equipment and acts as 'the brain' of the system. An autonomous layer, not depending on the IT infrastructure itself, formed by units called Empalme Hubs. Usually there is one of those Hubs in each equipment room. The third layer is where the interaction with the user takes place.

Empalme layered

One user interface can control and monitor as many Hubs (and therefore as many PDUs) as necessary. There can be as many active user interfaces as you like. This concept allows 'follow the sun' style management of datacenters worldwide. It also allows you to monitor more equipment rooms with less resources.

About the Power Distribution Units

The PDU forms the foundation on which the infrastructure is built. Therefore a PDU or its management system should not be dependent on the IT equipment it's meant to protect. Our PDUs communicate over the highly reliable industrial CAN bus. That's the same type of bus being used to fly airplanes for example. The CAN bus uses common UTP type cables, so it can be routed over already present structured cabling. This saves hundreds of Ethernet ports and gives true independence from the IT infrastructure.
Imagine a datacenter of 500 racks with two PDUs each. A conventional setup would require 1000 Ethernet switch ports, 1000 IP addresses to be configured and maintained just for the PDUs. There wouldn’t be a single server in the rack yet.
EL1 PDUHave you ever had sticky relays or malfunctioning controllers? The Empalme PDUs are tested to the extreme to ensure fault free operation for their entire lifetime. And in the event that something would ever break down, all components can be user replaced. Thor PDUs are built using our unique modular approach, meaning all electronics can be user replaced at the outlet level. This insures a problem in just one relay will not require the entire unit to be removed cutting power to all remaining equipment in the rack. An Empalme PDU from Thor will be installed once and truly last a lifetime!
We offer vertical and horizontal models.

How they work together in the Empalme concept

Event processingEach PDU is connected to an Empalme Hub through the bus system. It's the Hub that processes PDU events and acts accordingly. Empalme features a sophisticated event management system allowing you to define rules on how and when to react to certain events. As an example, when current stops flowing through a particular outlet the PDU detects this and can automatically switch on another outlet. Perhaps even on a different PDU. This would allow you to start up standby equipment in case of power supply failures.
Events can also apply to groups of outlets or PDUs. This enables you to switch a group of outlets using a small low voltage button in a desk, or it could also be used to suppress SMS messages while you're performing maintenance in a particular cabinet. Possibilities with the Empalme event management system are extensive. The event processing takes place at the Hub level ensuring autonomous operation, and is controlled through the user interface at the top layer. For more information about the user interface, see The Empalme Management Console.

Use as much or as little as you need

The Empalme system allows interfacing to third party systems at the second layer, the layer of the Hubs. All functionality is exposed through an encrypted XML socket connection, and the most important functionality is also available using SNMP. You are free to use any third party system to interface to the Hubs. Or you could use our Empalme Management Console exclusively for this task. With our framework it is also possible to create quick customer specific interfaces based on SOAP for example. For questions about custom interfaces please contact us. We are happy to discuss the possibilities.

The Empalme bus system

a robust solution starts with a reliable communication system

RJ45 connector

Instead of relying on the IT infrastructure it’s meant to protect, Empalme uses an industrial interface called the CANbus. This highly reliable redundant bus connects the PDUs and auxiliary equipment to the Empalme Hub using standard CAT5e or CAT6 cabling. Being a redundant bus, interruption at any single point will not break the system. The use of an independent bus allows the administrator to see what’s going on even when there’s a partial or complete blackout and network switches no longer function. The CANbus also saves many switch ports and IP administration tasks, reducing the TCO.

Bus architecture

 

  • Can be routed over structured CAT5e cabling if desired.
  • Each Bus can connect up to 100 devices to a Hub.
  • The Hub hosts 5 separate Busses for a total of 500 devices per hub
  • Uses standard RJ45 connectors.

Summary

  • An Empalme deployment can contain as many Power Distribution Units as needed.
  • The PDUs connect to a central entity in the equipment room called the Hub, through a redundant bus system independant of the IT network infrastructure.
  • The Hubs are managed through a user interface called the Management Console. Or they can be managed by an external third party system through any interface you like. Standard available interfaces include SNMP and XML.
  • The Hubs are autonomous systems providing control and monitoring functionality even during major power outages.