The Role of Intelligent PDUs in Supporting IoT Applications

Isaiah LaJoie
April 08, 2020

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In our last blog, The Impact of IoT on Your Data Center Infrastructure, we discussed the ways in which IoT has brought challenges and changes to data center infrastructure.  We identified three key changes brought by IoT: higher network speeds and availability, data traffic that demands more flexibility with fewer maintenance windows, and the increased complexity of securing the network.  All of these have shed light on the need for businesses to monitor and manage the network better, which in turn has an impact on the physical infrastructure of the data center that supports these networks.    

Today, we will talk about the role that intelligent PDUs play in supporting the devices that support the Internet of Things.  Server Technology understands that its smart PDUs are the gatekeepers off all the power that is fed to the rack.  After all, everything needs power, right?  Not only is the rack PDU the bridge between the data center’s entire electrical infrastructure and the devices that run the network, it also provides the nearest touchpoint to monitor and manage that power.  Talk about up close and personal.

Monitoring the edge

IoT computing demands more sophisticated monitoring solutions at the rack and PDU level. By definition, edge compute sites are not adjacent to the core data center facility. Lack of proximity means that there is an increased reliance on the ability to monitor power and cooling conditions remotely, as well as the ability to control and reboot single outlets.  As IoT has pushed monitoring to the distant reaches of the network, intelligent PDUs have likewise been deployed to provide feedback and control.

Monitoring the core

Intelligent PDUs arguably play a more critical role at the core, thanks to IoT.   They provide information about the operation of the equipment by metering the input and output power at the PDU.  They also provide remote control operation.  Sometimes referred to as a ‘switched’ PDU, these units also provide features that allow you to turn power on and off to individual receptacles.  Having a network connection allows the data center manager to enable or disable outlets from a remote location or within the facility itself.  As IoT has required more flexibility and fewer maintenance windows, intelligent PDUs have stepped in to assist with controlling the compute environment.

Monitoring to manage

Increased data traffic and shifting workloads increase the complexity of the data center manager’s power and cooling resources within the facility.  By using intelligent PDUs, you can have access to real-time usage data and environmental alerts.   All power usage data can be easily tracked, stored and exported into reports using intelligent PDUs and a software platform such as SPM.  By analyzing accurate power usage information at the cabinet level, data center managers are now able to more accurately shift power resources within the white space.

In short, an intelligent PDU from Server Technology can be the control your data center infrastructure needs to support IoT applications.  This is particularly important as this infrastructure is pushed closer to the edge with even less time for maintenance.   Higher device demand comes with higher power demands, which means more challenges to the network.  Our PDUs help you meet them and anticipate the next IoT evolution.


Power Tip 1: Receiving Alerts on Critical Events