To power servers, effective data center facility design calls for rack-mounted power distribution units (PDUs). These high capacity power strips range in price and sophistication from simple power regulators to "fully intelligent, remotely manageable PDUs that give the data center NOC detailed information about power usage, along with control over power distribution at a software level."
There are four basic kinds of PDUs, each designed to meet different server needs and price points. The following is a guide to the four major designs:
These are simple units, not entirely different than your standard commercially available power strip, albeit rated for delivering reliable power distribution for server racks. They typically lack any special features or functionality, are lower in price and come in a variety of densities and mounts.
These are PDUs that have managed functions and are able to configure the device to avoid overloading equipment. In more sophisticated applications, they may also provide certain information about the power that is being consumed.
Switched PDU has a built-in functionality that allows administrators to remotely operate each outlet on the PDU, switching them on or off as needed.
A mix of features found in Switched and Metered PDUs, these units offer remote monitoring and control while also integrating smart features like automated cycling, delivering real-time power information to management systems, and automatically responding to changes in temperature, airflow and humidity to optimize data center energy efficiency.
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