Top Reasons to Use Switched PDUs in Your Data Center

Josh Schaap
June 05, 2018

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It’s not easy trying to decide which type of rack PDU to purchase for your data center. As we explained in a recent article, the decision ultimately comes down to your data center’s unique needs. Your appetite for risk, facility budget, and operating preferences will all play a big part in determining what type of rack PDU you should be using.

In this article, we will focus on the Switched PDU, which is a Smart PDU that will let you toggle power on and off, on a per outlet bases, from a remote location. A switched PDU also allows you to centralize the management functions of your PDU.

Here are the top five reasons why you might consider a switched PDU for your data center:

  1. You need to control your power at the rack level. You want a power outlet that can do more than just collect data, but you also want one that will let you take action. A switched PDU allows you to perform management functions on your connected outlets, right from a central location. This is ideal for performing reboots, and even sequenced power-ups.
  1. You are managing multiple data centers. You don’t have one facility to manage, you have two or more. They may be spread out across the country, or even the world. As a result, performing maintenance on your infrastructure can be anything but routine. It may require you, or someone else, to travel to another facility to make physical changes. Or, it may require trusting someone else to perform changes.  You can stay in control of your equipment from any location if you use a switched PDU.
  1. You are looking to reduce operating costs. Your business doesn’t have the luxury of a bottomless IT budget. As a result, you need to cut down on the equipment you are using on a weekly basis. With a switched PDU, you can set automated scheduling so that core networking hardware only kicks in during select hours. After business hours, for instance, unnecessary equipment can be remotely turned off until the following business day. This can drastically reduce your power loads, and even prolong the life of your equipment.
  1. Downtime is not an option. Another luxury that your business lacks is time to recover after an outage. Your operation is mission critical, so it’s vital to ensure that when a device enters your data center, it won’t cause any catastrophic issues that could lead to downtime. Using a switched PDU, you can turn off select outlets to prevent someone from accidentally using them.
  1. Your data center is growing. Your facility appears to have plenty of capacity now, but several months from now, there’s no telling what your infrastructure will be asked to do. As a data center manager, it’s critical to have a clear understanding of each cabinet’s recent usage history. You’ll also need a real-time status and an idea of a particular cabinet’s projected condition several months down the road. Equipped with this information, you can confidently purchase and install new equipment without exceeding your power limits.
Don't Underestimate the Risk of Human Error in the Data Center