The Raritan Blog

How Remote Outlet Switching on Rack Mount PDUs Leads to Smarter Data Center Management

Michael Bord
September 30, 2014

As of late, the concept of the smart home appears to be gaining greater traction as new vendors like Wink and established players like Amazon race to develop a new generation of interconnected consumer products that promise to revolutionize our homes and daily lives.  One of the most important aspects of this new generation of products will be the ability for consumers to control their devices and appliances remotely. It’s a concept that’s equally as important for devices and technologies used within the enterprise.

Rack mount PDUs were once devices that merely distributed power to IT devices.  But, as the needs of users have evolved, vendors have enhanced their products to provide greater intelligence and remote management capabilities.  Consider for instance how users can leverage remote outlet switching on their rack PDUs to have greater control over their data centers and improve workflow, efficiency, safety, and uptime. 

Keeping Outlets Switched Off to Prevent Unauthorized Access

When a rack power strip’s outlets are always on, there’s a real danger that a technician can come along and plug any device into any outlet; the result of this can be either inconsequential or severe.  In the short-term, the technician may get the device up and running, but in the long-term, it could lead to a lack of insight into where devices are, and how much electrical headroom is available leading to tripped breakers and a greater risk of downtime.

By using remote outlet switching, administrators or super users can keep outlets turned off until they have decided they are ready to provision new equipment to that spot.  This ensures that data centers have a good understanding of every piece of equipment connected to the power chain and ensure that they have enough capacity to meet its demands. Naturally, it also lends itself to better asset management.

Conserve Energy During Non-Working Hours

Most production servers need to be on around the clock.  But test servers can often be powered off during evenings, weekends, and holidays to conserve energy.  Even in a distributed system, it may be possible to shut down several nodes during non-peak hours. By using an intelligent rack mount power strip, users can gracefully power equipment down servers. 

Raritan iPDUs even feature sophisticated sequencing that can power cycle equipment with one more power feeds on or off in a set order.  This allows users a granular level of control, but more importantly, it minimizes inrush currents and nullifies the risk of tripping a breaker when devices are powered back on. 

Learn more about the intelligent features of Raritan rack mount PDUs or take a test drive right from your computer.