Why are PDUs important in data centers?

PDU (Power Distribution Unit) is mainly used in data centers to distribute, monitor and control power to servers, computers and other equipment, thereby reducing equipment downtime, energy waste and carbon footprint.

What is a Power Distribution Unit?

A power distribution unit (PDU) is a device that distributes power to various IT equipment in a data center. It is responsible for managing the power supply to the data center and ensuring that IT equipment has a consistent and reliable power supply. Electrical facilities use PDUs to monitor, control, and optimize power distribution.

How does a Power Distribution Unit (PDU) work?

A power distribution unit works similarly to a power strip. It does not condition or generate power, but rather relays alternating current (AC) from a single source to various devices, such as network equipment, computers, and peripherals.

PDUs are usually connected to a main power source, which can be a generator, utility power, or UPS. PDUs are most commonly found in data centers. They are designed to be installed in different equipment racks to power rack-mounted devices such as routers, switches, servers, or cooling fans.

In addition to normal power distribution, advanced PDUs provide extensive power monitoring and control. They detect fluctuations within the circuit and even provide reliable backup power in the event of a failure. They can also help determine power usage efficiency and other statistics important to data center power distribution and management.

What types of power distribution units are there?

There are many types of PDUs on the market. These include basic PDUs, managed PDUs, switched PDUs, and monitored PDUs.

1. Basic PDU

Basic PDUs are the most basic type of PDU. They are designed to provide reliable power to IT equipment in a data center. They distribute power to multiple IT devices. However, they do not provide any surge protection; a rack surge protector is generally required in addition to the PDU itself.

2. Managed PDU

Managed power distribution units are designed to provide more comprehensive power management functions, such as monitoring, controlling, and regulating power usage in a server farm. It can also provide reliable backup power in the event of a power outage.

3. Metered PDU

Metered PDUs have integrated current meters that monitor real-time load levels for efficient load balancing and overload prevention in large data centers. They do not connect to the data network, but can use smart power cords to enable remote monitoring.

4. Monitoring PDU

Monitored PDUs are designed to provide more advanced power monitoring capabilities. They can track power distribution in a data center and identify power fluctuations.

Why are PDUs important in data centers?

PDUs are important components of data centers because they manage, transmit, and regulate power distribution to IT equipment. Some of the benefits of using PDUs include:

Improved data center management

PDUs can be used to track, control and regulate power usage in server farms locally and remotely. This can increase facility efficiency and reliability, reduce operating expenses and improve overall performance.In fact, by combining outlet-level power metering and trend reporting, PDUs can detect and restart crashed systems, eliminating the need for an expert to visit the site. Unused IT equipment can be shut down remotely to save energy and reduce carbon footprint.

High power measurement and control

PDUs can help monitor power usage in the data center and identify power issues. IT administrators can also track power at the device or PDU level using user-defined parameters and receive notifications before problems occur so they can be resolved. In fact, power monitoring and problem management can keep mission-critical systems running efficiently.

Reliable backup power and uninterruptible power supply

Generally speaking, PDUs enable efficient power distribution and overload protection. They can be used to monitor power fluctuations in a circuit and signal a UPS unit when a power outage occurs in the rack’s most important equipment. In fact, if there is a UPS, a PDU can be plugged in as long as it has enough backup power to handle the load.

Better power efficiency and cost saving

Smart PDUs measure real-time voltage, current, power, and energy usage. They also work with data center infrastructure management tools to provide reports that show trends in a facility’s power usage and provide warnings about any unforeseen events.

This data helps maintain proper control of heat, air conditioning, and humidity, thereby reducing your carbon footprint. In addition, a PDU with remote switching capabilities enables you to operate individual outlets from one location. You can save electricity by turning off plugs that are not currently in use.