The Raritan Blog

Different Types of Rack PDUs

Jessica Ciesla
September 10, 2019

In layman's terms, a rack Power Distribution Unit (PDU) is a device that can be fitted with multiple outlets to effectively control and distribute electricity. The two main types of rack PDUs can be classified as either non-intelligent PDUs or intelligent PDUs. Creating the proper configuration for your data center will require you to first understand the key differences between these two types of rack PDUs.

Non-Intelligent Rack PDUs 101

There are two main types of non-intelligent rack PDUs. 

Basic PDUs: A basic PDU is typically a power strip that accurately distributes the correct voltage and current to multiple outlets within an IT environment. The basic PDU can be used to supply power to IT equipment within racks. 

Monitored PDUs: As its name suggests, a monitored PDU visually displays the current electric information. It is important to note that in non-intelligent rack PDU, the display information can only be viewed locally, and lack remote capabilities. 

Intelligent Rack PDUs 101

There are four main types of intelligent rack PDUs.

Metered Input PDUs: This type of intelligent rack PDU displays metered power locally and over a secure network. The metering capability helps managers avoid overloading circuits. It also helps them to more easily calculate the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). ƒ

Metered Outlet PDUs: The meter power is displayed locally and over a secure network. It is used to accurately determine power usage, as well as the available capacity at the rack level. Finally, outlet-level metering can help managers efficiently identify the power consumption at the device and server level. This identification makes it easier to effectively allocate costs to specific data center customers. 

Switched PDUs: This type of intelligent rack PDU has the same features as the Metered Outlet PDU, while simultaneously providing the control needed to power on / off switches to specific outlets. The latter capability increases remote capabilities by allowing authorized users to securely power devices on / off, create power sequencing delays that minimize the risk of inrush currents, reduce the risk of unauthorized access to devices, and reduce the data center's costs and environmental footprint by powering off devices that are not being used. 

Switched PDUs with Outlet Metering: This type of intelligent rack PDU successfully combines all of the capabilities of Switched PDUs, Metered Outlet PDUs, and Metered Input PDUs. It is the most robust type of intelligent rack PDU and can be used to help data centers effectively reduce costs and maximize energy efficiencies across devices. 

Choose The Right Type Of Rack PDUs With The Help Of The Raritan Team

No matter your goals, the Raritan team is ready to help you choose the right type of rack PDUs for data center. Discover how you can reduce costs, increase energy efficiencies, lower carbon footprints, identify idle servers, and achieve a whole host of ROI-enhancing benefits with the right intelligent rack PDU.

To learn more, contact a Raritan team member today.