With the rising density of IT equipment in today’s data centers and network closets, proper distribution of power in the rack is becoming increasing important. Understanding your power consumption and constraints is key in properly building out and protecting your environment. With so many different offerings available, it can be difficult to pin down the features that will work best in your application.
Here are a few ingredients to look for when choosing a rack power distribution unit (PDU) for your customer’s environment:
Form Factor Considerations:
When comparing rack PDU models, you will want to evaluate the most effective footprint for the application. Typical rack PDUs come in 0U, 1U, and 2U offerings. 0U models help to maximize the number of outlets available within the PDU, and are typically utilized to power an entire rack full of equipment. Rack PDU 1U and 2U models provide an alternative footprint if space isn’t an issue.
Ease of Installation
Installation can be a hassle if you haven’t planned accordingly. Look for rack PDUs that support tool-less installation. Installation will be fairly dependent on your rack, so make sure to research ahead of time to verify fitting options for your specific installation. If tool-less isn’t an option, you can plan accordingly and ensure you have the tools required on hand.
Some key features you’ll want to assess prior to purchasing include metering accuracy, communication capabilities, remote management and outlet switching to name a few. An easily readable advanced LCD screen provides the added benefit of on-the-spot status information. Obviously price can come into play based on the feature set, so consider the cost savings that these features allow by putting you in control of power consumption, helping you cut cooling costs and telling you where your energy is going.
Remote management seems like a no brainer for most, but some IT managers still opt for basic rack PDU capabilities. Being able to view and monitor outlet level power consumption of devices from afar not only provides insight into the amount of power being consumed per device, but also potential spikes prior to power supply failures. Not to mention the capability to remotely reboot IT equipment, which is a capability that can save you a drive into the office on a Saturday.
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