Metered PDUs Can Improve Power Management

Posted by Enconnex Team on April 27, 2021

| Categories: Power Distribution Unit

Energy and power costs continue to command the lion’s share of the budget in data centers of all sizes. Data center facilities with 24x7 operations are among those with the highest density of energy-consuming equipment of any modern building. Experts say they can use 100 times the electricity of a typical office building on a square-foot basis.

Data center densities continue to increase as organizations deploy more powerful servers to support data analytics, artificial intelligence, and other demanding applications. Not so long ago, data centers had an average power density of about 5 kilowatts (kW) per server cabinet or rack. Today, the typical power density is more than double that, and traditional data center infrastructure designs are struggling under the load.

As power densities continue to increase, effective power management becomes essential. You can’t manage what you don’t measure, so you need a means of gathering data on power usage. Metered power distribution units (PDUs) can aid in that process.


How Metered PDUs Work

Rack PDUs deliver power from the data center’s main electrical supply to the equipment in a server rack or cabinet. Metered PDUs also provide information about the power being consumed, either by the PDU as a whole or by individual outlets.

Some of the data provided include:

  •       Voltage (V)
  •       Current (A)
  •       Active Power (kW)
  •       Apparent Power (kVA)
  •       Energy (kWh)
  •       Power Factor (ratio of kW to kVA)

Energy (kWh) is an important measurement in power optimization as it shows actual power usage. Metered PDUs should provide “billing-grade” accuracy, which means that the data is accurate within +/- 1%. Best-in-class units conform to the ISO / IEC 62053-21 standard for electricity metering equipment.

“Smart” PDUs connect to the network so that administrators can monitor the data remotely. Networked PDUs may also interface with data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software and environmental monitoring solutions.


Input vs. Outlet Metered PDUs

Metered PDUs come in two basic types: input metered, which measures the power coming into the PDU, and outlet metered, which measures the power used by each outlet. Which you choose depends on whether you want to monitor the power consumption of the server cabinet as a whole or the individual pieces of equipment.


Input Metered PDUs

Input-metered PDUs offer real-time phase and circuit breaker metering to reduce the risk of overloads and facilitate load balancing and capacity planning. This is particularly important in racks with redundant power. If both PDUs are near capacity and one fails, a circuit breaker is likely to trip during failover.


Outlet Metered PDUs

Metering at the outlet level provides benefits similar to input metering. However, it also allows administrators to better understand power usage at the device level so they can identify underutilized or “zombie” equipment and compare the efficiencies of various units. Outlet metered PDUs also aid in the allocation of power costs to specific business units, departments, user groups, or projects.


Metered PDUs from Enconnex

Enconnex offers both input and outlet metered PDUs to facilitate power management. Each PDU provides real-time phase and circuit breaker metering and is network-enabled for remote monitoring. Compliance with ISO / IEC 62053-21 ensures billing-grade accuracy.

Ideal for data centers, IDF closets, colocation facilities, and more, our metered PDUs are available in multiple configurations to meet your operational requirements. Contact one of our power specialists for help identifying the best PDU for your project or use case.

Posted by Enconnex Team on April 27, 2021

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