How Intelligent PDUs Lead to Cost Savings in the Data Center
Posted by Annie Paquette on January 14, 2020
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One fateful day many years ago, a rack PDU was outfitted with monitoring capabilities, and the intelligent PDU (or ‘network PDU’) was born. This new class of devices focused on the collection of rack power quality data at the power strip. These capabilities were followed by power control features, which created a new class of power distribution devices within the data center environment. The power data that was being collected at the rack was aggregated and then consolidated over a network connection before being presented to the user via monitoring software.
The invention of the intelligent PDU itself was a historic event. Through the deliberate and well-executed application of the device, the real story is in how the industry was able to create a tool that was instrumental in driving efficiencies and cost savings into those operations that adopted the technology.
Data centers are notoriously expensive. Oftentimes, it has less to do with the cost of power and more to do with the management of that resource, and how it is being distributed around the data center. Intelligent PDUs allow administrators to see exactly where power is being allocated in the data center. With their additional smarts and parts, the typical intelligent PDU is more efficient than its standard cousins, but the additional capital investment pays dividends for the operation.
Here are 5 ways in which intelligent PDUs will lead to operational cost savings in the data center:
1) They can help improve the efficiency of the power distribution system. This comes in two forms: higher voltages and better management of the electrical infrastructure.
2) They support environmental sustainability initiatives and lower PUE. Intelligent PDUs can improve energy efficiency by providing the electrical load data needed for better management of the mechanical system, where the big savings are found.
3) They provide improved control of the operation at the rack level. Small increases in operational efficiency on a rack by rack basis adds up to great gains across an entire data center.
4) They can support increased data center uptime. Equipment that is operating at its peak, neither underloaded nor overloaded, tends to stay operational. Equipment that is not operated within an optimal range tends to experience greater failure rates.
5) They allow for greater capacity planning and utilization of the electrical system. Full use of existing electrical infrastructure helps avoid the cost of capital upgrades to increase capacity. In other words, better utilization of existing resources means avoiding additional costs.
Here’s the closer. If there is one word that every data center manager and IT professional fears, it is downtime. Intelligent PDUs come with advanced power alerts as well as environmental monitoring. This is critical for data centers with rapidly shifting compute cycles. Using intelligent PDUs, data center managers can gain better visibility into how their mechanical and electrical systems are performing.