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Why choose one PDU over another

Published by Jason Koffler on 24 April 2019

When you get a basic PDU, you get one input and multiple output spaces, and you power one piece of equipment on every output. There are four types of PDUs available, and we’re going to detail each one. We’ll also cover the benefits of each type, some industry-leading software and more below.
Defining the Four Types of PDUs

When it comes to PDUs, there are four different types you can pick from. Each type comes with its own set of benefits.

1. Basic (On or Off) PDU.

This PDU is a cost-effective option for businesses. Common applications include using it to deliver power to server rooms, wiring closets and equipment racks using a generator, UPS system or through a utility wall outlet. It’s a direct compliment to the UPS system as it adds several more outlets than the UPS system comes with. You can use it to convert a single high-amperage UPS outlet into several smaller low-amp PDU outlets. The simple on and off operation is the easiest way to distribute generator power or a facility UPS to several different load racks.

Benefits:

Enhance the reliability factor of your IT setup and installation Provide energy monitoring Allow you to get the correct amount of power to the load Very easy and straightforward to use Simplify upgrades and maintenance

2. Metered PDU.

The second type of PDU is a metered PDU. This setup comes with a built-in digital current meter that allows you to locally monitor your PDU’s load level. This helps to avoid potential overloading of the system. You get reliable, multi-outlet, rack-mount, three-phase or single power distribution. You can get this single or three-phase power distribution from any generator, protected UPS or main input power source.

Benefits:

Maximise space due to vertical mounting capabilities Prevent accidental disconnections because the majority of them have built-in IEC outlet grips Reduce cooling costs because they have a higher operating temperature.

3. Switched PDU

A switched PDU gives you the ability to disconnect, remotely monitor and connect to your data centre loads. They usually have a built-in digital current meter that helps you monitor your load levels to avoid overloading. They also have individual switches for every outlet that allow you to reboot locked equipment and extend battery backup run time in the event of an outage because you can choose which outlets get power. Each breaker bank gets an individual report that details the voltage, kilowatt output values and amperage. It connects to an Ethernet jack, and remote users have the ability to switch the PDU outlets off or on through the web, SNMP or telnet.

Benefits:

Helps to avoid costly service calls Can electronically lock unused PDU outlets to avoid unauthorised usage Allows you to easily monitor each outlets power usage

4. Managed PDU

The final type of PDU is a managed PDU. This unit allows you to remotely monitor your voltage usage per outlet. You’ll be able to have multiple outlets under one control, and you can control things like the current, voltage and power factor all off-site. You’ll get consumption statistics for every outlet, and this information lets you make informed decisions when it comes to the energy consumption levels of your data centre. You can power your PDU on or off to remotely reboot your equipment and restrict the usage of each outlet. You can also remotely set which order the attached equipment powers up or down to avoid overloading your circuits.

Benefits:

Can operate it remotely off-site Remotely monitor individual outlet usage Allows you to customise your equipment boot order to avoid overloads

PDU World Leading Companies

There are several world-leading companies that design, manufacture and sell PDUs. It’s essential that you get your PDU from a reputable company to ensure that your investment is worthwhile. You could easily have thousands of dollars in equipment riding on making the right choice. These world-leading PDU companies include:

APC -

American Power Conversion (APC) started in 1981 in the United States. They’ve been supplying quality PDUs ever since and many companies rely on infrastructure by APC. They offer a large network of products and services that help you tailor your PDU usage to both residential and businesses purposes. They’re a flagship brand for Schneider Electric that offer both hardware and software solutions.

Eaton -

Eaton has been around since 1911, and they’ve grown into a powerhouse for providing power management technologies They focus on providing a host of safe, reliable and dependable software and hardware for both small businesses and large corporations alike. They offer an exclusive list of options including the Intelligent Power Manager by Eaton, Visual Power Manager, Visual Capacity Optimization Manager, Intelligent Power Protector, UPS Companion and much more.

Raritan -

Raritan offers services to over 76 countries around the world, and they have over 50,000 physical locations. They provide software and hardware that comes designed to increase your organisation’s reliability and energy efficiency while raising your productivity.

Vertiv -

This privately-held company has a worldwide presence with 28 manufacturing locations with over 250 service centres. Vertiv was originally formed in 1965. They produce and manufacture hardware and software for businesses all over the world.

How to Get the Most Out of Your PDU.

Since PDUs can be a costly investment, it’s essential that you decide which one is the best for your situation. If you’re concerned about getting power to a load and critical power supplies, wiring cabinets or in-edge closed PDUs are an excellent choice. Most people have made a switch to a PDU that allows for remote site reboot and management because it’s more convenient.

When you combine your PDU with a UPS in order to power your virtual servers, it’s beneficial for you to use the network-based hardware monitoring solution because this allows for smart load management. You’ll be able to get the power you need without overloading the system, and this can increase your energy efficiency.

Contact your account manager for more information on 0800 978 8988.