A PDU, or a power distribution unit, is an electrical device that distributes power to various devices. A PDU’s purpose was to distribute power from a power source, such as a generator, uninterruptible power supply, or utility power, to IT equipment. At its basic level, PDUs are very similar to power strips, however, were specifically engineered for equipment racks. Accordingly, PDU devices are often found in data center settings supporting rack-mounted devices, including servers, routers, or cooling fans. But, with today’s ever-changing data centers, IT designers have been actively innovating network PDUs to give the devices more function than they had in earlier years. Nowadays, there are various types of PDUs in the market, each offering distinct features depending on the needs of critical IT equipment. Power distribution units can be classified into two categories: basic and intelligent.
A basic PDU, as already described above, in its simplest form is an electrical device that distributes power from a power source, such as a generator, uninterruptible power supply, or utility power, to IT equipment. A basic PDU is a perfect option for anyone looking for a reliable and cost-effective device to distribute unfiltered power to multiple IT devices.
In addition to a PDUs basic function to distribute power, an intelligent PDU provides various functions along with its original function. Over the years PDUs have become more and more innovative. Today, there are so many additional features that PDUs have to offer, that intelligent PDUs can be subcategorized by functions. The most common types of intelligent PDUs on the market are:
- Metered PDUs
A metered PDU, in addition to distributing power, comes with a digital LCD meter. This additional function allows for real-time load monitoring. Having a digital LCD meter can not only let individuals monitor their load levels locally but also, prevents potential power issues. Overall, increasing the reliability of the PDU.
- Monitored PDUs
A monitored PDU is very similar to a metered PDU. A monitored PDU also displays load levels in real-time but has remote capabilities. Using a network connection, a monitored PDU can let an individual access their PDUs load level anywhere.
- Switched PDUs
A switched PDU also offers the monitoring features of a monitored PDU but also offers the capability to turn outlets on the PDU on or off. This feature can also be done remotely through various types of network connection options. This function allows individuals to remotely manage the power schedule of their PDU by outlet.