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An Intelligent Power Distribution Unit (PDU) is a networked power distribution unit that improves data centre efficiency through real-time remote power monitoring, environmental monitoring, and integration with data centre infrastructure. Intelligent rack PDUs incorporate technologies that enable a more intelligent IT infrastructure, allowing you to anticipate problems before they occur. They contribute to any data centre manager’s ultimate goal of maximising uptime while minimising costs.

Different Types of Rack PDUs:-

Intelligent PDUs – 

  • Metered Inlet Power Distribution Units: Measure power at the PDU inlet and display data locally and over a network.
  • Metered Outlet PDUs: Provide the same features as metered inlet PDU, but also include outlet-level metering and the ability to display data both locally and over a network.
  • Switched PDUs: Provide the same functionality as metered inlet PDU, but allow authorised users to remotely power-cycle outlets in a predefined order.
  • PDUs with switched power and outlet metering: Combine the switched power and outlet metering capabilities of PDUs.

Intelligent PDUs are the best choice to reduce cost, increase availability, provide energy efficiency, and manage existing capacity.

Non-intelligent PDU’s – 

  • Basic PDUs: They are power strips that are used in data centre environments. They distribute voltage and current to power rack-mounted information technology equipment.
  • Monitored PDUs: Provide access to a local display that typically displays information about the electrical current. These units lack network connectivity and are therefore inaccessible remotely.

Why should today’s data center utilize Intelligent PDUs?  Here are some distinct advantages Intelligent PDUs deliver:

  • Increased uptime: IT administrators can monitor power consumption at the device or PDU level using user-defined thresholds and be notified of potential issues in advance, ensuring mission-critical systems operate at peak performance.
  • Capacity planning: Be aware of your power consumption down to the device level, establish a baseline for utilisation to predict equipment failure, identify stranded capacity to plan floor expansions more accurately, and improve your colocation/facilities SLA negotiations.
  • Reduce costs and power consumption:  By combining outlet-level power monitoring and trend analysis, intelligent PDUs can monitor server performance and rapidly reboot crashed systems without incurring site visit costs. IT equipment that is not in use during non-business hours can be turned off to conserve energy.
  • Green data center:  Carbon footprints can be reduced by conserving energy and providing optimal control over air conditioning, heat, and humidity. Environmental sensors integrated into intelligent power distribution units (PDUs) can assist data centre managers in increasing efficiency.
  • Real-time data collection:  Intelligent power distribution units (PDUs) continuously monitor current (amps), voltage, power (kVA, kW), and energy consumption (kWh). Intelligent PDUs work in conjunction with DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) solutions to generate reports that alert users to unexpected issues and assist them in comprehending real-time power load, capacity, and trends across all levels of data centre infrastructure.

With a noticeable increase in data generated as a result of process automation in the typical ever-changing data centre, demand for intelligent PDUs has recently increased. Additionally, the ability to access critical information both locally and remotely is critical.

While basic PDUs are less expensive and may appear to be a better buy in today’s budget-constrained data centre, intelligent PDUs deliver significantly more value and cost savings over time, in addition to contributing to a greener data centre.

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