Universal PDUs Help Streamline Global Data Center Infrastructure

Posted by Enconnex Team on May 27, 2021

| Categories: Power Distribution Unit

Consistency across the IT environment enables economies of scale and operational efficiencies. However, organizations with a global IT footprint often have divergent data center configurations that require specific solutions. Additionally, data centers are continually evolving to meet dynamic business and IT needs.

Power is a common variable. The electricity coming into the data center differs according to region, ranging from 120/208V in North America to 100/200V in Japan and 230V in the rest of the world. Because 120V single-phase power is costly to implement and highly inefficient, some American data centers are moving to 240V power distribution. 

Each input power voltage requires a different type of power distribution unit (PDU)—or, more specifically, a different PDU plug. The outlet in the branch circuit receptacle tells you the voltage, and the PDU plug will need to match. Power cords for three-phase branch circuits have to be thicker to accommodate the current. 

Typically, organizations will need multiple models of rack PDUs, increasing management complexity. However, universal PDUs allow organizations to use the same units across all their facilities. They provide flexible input options and can be customized with various outlet types to support the power requirements of different equipment.


How Universal PDUs Work

Universal PDUs feature a seven-pin input connector that allows for the connection of interchangeable input power cables. They give you the flexibility to adapt to the available facility power. For example, a universal PDU may support input plugs for 208V to 415V power, single-phase or three-phase 30A to 40A current, for North America, EMEA, or Japan. You can also vary the input cord length to meet server rack configuration requirements.

With a universal PDU, the same model can be used in all locations around the world regardless of the input power supply in that region. If a high-density server rack or cabinet is installed in a row that has lower power requirements, the universal PDU minimizes the need to have multiple PDU types in the same row. The removable power cord also makes it easier to install the PDU in a server rack with limited space.


How to Select the Right Universal PDU

With any PDU, there are several criteria to consider when selecting a unit. However, when choosing a universal PDU, it’s important to look at requirements throughout the environment so that you can establish standards for PDU models. This will minimize the number of exceptions required.

Basic Features

Look for a rack PDU that mounts in the “zero U” space in the back of the server cabinet. A streamlined profile helps to optimize airflow and provide access to IT equipment. Because it’s hotter in the back of the server cabinet, the rack PDU should have hydraulic-magnetic circuit breakers that operate reliably in high-temperature environments.


You will need to analyze the IT equipment to determine how many outlets you will need and what type. Universal rack PDUs should have a mixture of outlet types, ideally organized in a high-density arrangement that is color-coded for each identification. Locking outlets help to prevent accidental disconnects.

Smart Features

Universal rack PDUs that connect to the network allow for remote monitoring and management. Metered PDUs enable administrators to view a variety of metrics to help avoid overloading circuits and improve overall power usage. With switched PDUs, technicians can power on, power off and reboot individual outlets remotely.


Universal PDUs from Enconnex

Enconnex offers universal PDUs with the versatility to support a wide range of global data center infrastructure needs. Our universal PDUs support common AC power configurations and offer advanced features to meet the most stringent requirements. Let our power specialists help you streamline your data center infrastructure by minimizing the number of PDU models.

Posted by Enconnex Team on May 27, 2021

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