The Raritan Blog

Basic Rack PDUs Vs Intelligent Rack PDUs

Minder Singh
August 14, 2014

Basic Versus Smart

Power distribution Units or PDUs really boil down to two types: basic and intelligent PDUs (or more succinctly, iPDUs). Basic PDUs merely deliver power to IT devices. Aside from that, basic PDUs don’t bring much else to the table. iPDUs on the other hand, provide a number of innovative features that can help data centers manage their energy resources more effectively.  Here are some of the most important features that set iPDUs apart from basic PDUs. 

Outlet-Level Metering

Outlet-level metering allows you to see how much power is being drawn by your IT devices in real-time or over a select period. This feature is especially useful for data centers that have charge-back programs where they bill customers or departments for their actual energy usage, because it provides current (amps), voltage, power (kVA, kW) and energy consumption (kWh) offers with +/- 1% billing-grade accuracy.  

Remote-Outlet Switching

Remote-outlet switching allows users to power cycle outlets on/off individual or in sequence to help minimize the risk of a tripped breaker due to excessive inrush currents.  It even supports graceful OS shutdown of IT devices so that you’re able to shut devices off during non-working hours. Additionally, you can keep outlets switched off to prevent unauthorized access for proper provisioning and avoiding tripped circuit breakers.

Network Management and Alerts

Intelligent rack mount power strips can be managed via a web-based GUI or mobile app. One can even provision outlets without ever having to step foot in a data center – A feature that’s perfect for lights out and colo facilities!  Data center operators can even receive alerts via email, SNMP, or text message alerting them to potential issues that can lead to downtime.

UL 489 Circuit Breakers w/ Monitoring

Raritan iPDUs use UL 489 branch circuit breakers eliminating the need to stock fuses, the use of licensed electricians to change fuses and the possibility of installing an incorrect fuse compromising safety and voiding product warranties. Furthermore, the circuit breakers are monitored and alerts sent when thresholds are crossed which could result in circuit breakers tripping.

So if you are revamping an old facility, building a new one, or moving to a colocation provider, consider how intelligent rack PDUs can help you to manage your IT devices more effectively, aid energy efficiency initiatives, and reduce the risk and/or duration of unintended downtime; none of which is possible with basic PDUs.

Learn more about intelligent rack PDUs or test drive one right now!