The Raritan Blog

How to Improve Capacity Planning with Rack Mount Power Strips

Anthony Bonaventura
August 20, 2014

Server Room Data Center

Intelligent rack mounted PDUs can be the centerpiece of understanding how much you know — and don’t know — about power consumption in your data center.  

Back when power was cheap and managing how it was used was a low priority, managers could rely on nameplate specifications for IT devices to predict power consumption and determine the capacity of their data centers.  In fact, some data centers still rely on this methodology to manage their capacity. 

But, with rack power densities having grown multiple times in the last twenty years (according to some estimates — energy use doubled every five to seven years), this method doesn’t line up with the reality of actual energy consumption. As a result, many data centers are underutilizing existing resources, overspending on utilities, and even making unnecessary capital expenditures.  

Other data centers suffer from frequent power outages as a result of blindly exceeding their power capacity.  In the age of intelligent rack mount power strips, this makes little sense.

Intelligent rack mount PDUs with outlet level metering provide the ability to monitor power consumption in real-time at the IT device level.  This approach can help IT managers to identify underutilized equipment or equipment that is nearing or exceeding its normal range of usage and in is in danger of causing an outage.   

Intelligent PDUs can also identify and alert IT managers to under-current conditions on an IT device associated with a failed power supply, leading to faster service restoration times.  

When coupled with historical data and trends amassed in power monitoring software, these PDUs can provide valuable information to help management make educated decisions around capacity planning, energy utilization, and more efficient power utilization.