Smart PDU Pricing: Why Quality Matters

Annie Paquette
September 27, 2019

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My guess is that you, like me, have no idea what goes into the process of manufacturing a Smart PDU.  There is a reason why shows like ‘How Stuff Works’ capture people’s imaginations. We take for granted the products that we see and use every day, and it is no small wonder to see how things are really made. 

When I think about the quality of a product, my thoughts turn immediately to individual components – the strength of the steel, the quality of the plastic, and the durability of the circuit board.  And while component quality is important, there is a lot more that goes into the quality of a Server Technology metered power strip. To see what I mean, let’s take a quick tour of the different elements of the manufacturing process.

Before we start, a quick note about our metered PDUs to put this in context.  With all humility, our products serve as a key component of the critical infrastructure of many of the world’s largest data center operators.  And the smallest, too, for that matter.  We don’t take it personally that we won’t ever be on the cover of Time magazine, but we do take quality very seriously.  Our products are sold to the best companies in the world, and so they have to be the best PDUs in the world. 

As I alluded to above, component quality and design is of utmost importance.  The copper, steel, plastics, circuit boards, and connectors we use are the best of the best.  If you are looking inside a Smart PDU and see fast-on connectors, you can be guaranteed the Server Technology logo is not on the case. One of the interesting aspects about component quality is that it goes beyond the materials themselves. Since some of our customers are held to the highest ecological requirements in the world, our products meet stringent Conflict Minerals and RoHS standards for responsible sourcing and hazardous content. We also meet or exceed our customers’ internal EFD and RFI/EMI testing requirements.

Along with global production quality and standards, our products have to meet the stringent manufacturing and safety requirements of the countries we produce in, and those we ship into. How do we do that?  We ensure global manufacturing quality by keeping a close eye on it from home.  Real-time monitoring systems in all of our facilities allows us to complete quality testing in real time from a central location.  We also drive quality during the prototype phase of product development. Our testing and validation lab in Reno, Nevada, has the exact same equipment used at all of our manufacturing facilities, which allows us to ensure the quality of the finished product, even before it is produced. 

High-quality components and stringent manufacturing aside, the most important part of the process is our staff.  In order to ensure the quality of the product, Server Technology hires and retains the best mechanical, electrical, and safety engineers around.  Behind all of the materials, processes, standards, and manufacturing lines is a team of highly qualified individuals who are ensuring that at Server Tech, quality begets reliability.

What does all this have to do with the price of Smart PDUs?  The network card on our Smart PDU is an example of our approach to quality.  We think that the intelligence of the PDU should have everything to do with the way you interface with the data it is providing.  Our network card firmware has been tested and all vulnerabilities identified.  We even built in some simple features such as an open API, easy to read MIB table, and SNMP protocol.

We consider it an honor when our products get taken for granted.  But once you know what is involved in the manufacturing process, you realize that putting the best materials together isn’t enough.  At Server Technology, quality is also driven by our customers, who demand the best assurance, engineering, and testing in their PDUs.  

-48VDC Power and the Backbone of the Telecommunications Industry