Basic PDUs for Data Centers

Posted by Enconnex Team on April 13, 2021

| Categories: Power Distribution Unit

As IT equipment becomes more sophisticated, it can be tempting to opt for all the latest bells and whistles when buying solutions. Depending on the use case, however, a basic model can be the better option, reducing costs and operational requirements.

When it comes to power distribution units (PDUs), “basic” simply means that the unit doesn’t provide input or outlet monitoring or switched outlet capabilities. While these features are increasingly important for today’s remote operations, they aren’t always necessary. A basic PDU can serve just as well—as long as it provides the quality your data center demands.


What to Look for in Basic PDUs

Server rack PDUs are designed to mount vertically in the back of a cabinet, behind the IT equipment. It’s known as the “zero U” space — PDUs, cable managers and other infrastructure mounted in this area don’t take up any of the space reserved for IT equipment. Some basic PDUs come with mounting brackets or toolless mounting kits for easy installation.


Here are 5 features to look for


1. Hydraulic-magnetic Circuit Breakers

Hydraulic-magnetic circuit breakers help ensure continuous operation at full current and reduce the risk of nuisance tripping due to high ambient temperatures.

2. Labeled Outlets and Circuit Breakers

Labeled outlets and circuit breakers allow easy identification of the circuit configuration for fewer connectivity errors.

3. Ultra-low-profile Designs

An ultra-low-profile design improves airflow efficiency and enables easy access to IT equipment.

4. Alternating Small Groups of Outlets

Alternating small groups of outlets by circuit breaker along the width of the PDU helps to improve load balancing while streamlining equipment installation.

5. High-density Outlets

High-density outlet arrangements support all of the IT equipment in the server rack or cabinet, minimizing the need for multiple PDUs.


Selecting the Right Basic PDU

Basic PDUs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are three important things to consider before selecting a particular model.

Input Power

Most offices in the United States have single-phase power, which alternates between positive and negative voltage. There is a moment of zero voltage when the wave moves from positive to negative and back. Data centers and industrial sites commonly have three-phase power, which offsets three simultaneous waves to eliminate those moments of zero voltage. It’s important to know what type of input power you have and the type of outlet you’ll need to plug the PDU into.

Output Power

Each piece of IT equipment should specify the amount of power it needs, either on a placard attached to the device or in the user manual. The power requirements may be listed in volt-amperes (VA) or watts (W). Add up all the power, converting as necessary, to determine the output requirements of the PDU. In some cases, multiple PDUs may be necessary.

Number and Type of Outlets

The PDU should have at least as many outlets as the number of plugs for the IT equipment, ideally with some room for expansion. Note that some equipment may have two plugs. It’s also important to note the types of plugs, which correspond to the VA requirements of the equipment. Many installations will have a mixture of plugs, particularly if servers, networking equipment, and other gear are deployed in the same server cabinet or rack.


Basic PDUs from Enconnex

Enconnex is your source for basic PDUs to meet every need and budget. They are available in a variety of input and output configurations and meet the highest standards for quality and reliability. We invite you to browse our catalog or contact one of our power experts for help in selecting the right PDU for your installation.

Posted by Enconnex Team on April 13, 2021

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