Constructing or improving a data center starts with making sure you have the right power distribution units (PDUs) for the job. But unless you’re an I.T. expert yourself, understanding the options can seem like a daunting task.
The following primer will help you get a basic idea of what we consider as we help you get the ideal PDUs for your unique power distribution needs.
1. Your Power Requirements
Before we can recommend a power distribution unit for you, we need to identify your power requirements. Then, we match the server type to your environment.
In the following instances, you might need PDUs with 3-phase inputs:
- You have a large data center with hundreds of server racks.
- You also have some blade servers or all blade servers.
PDUs with single-phase inputs might be best in situations where you’re powering:
- A network wiring closet.
- A branch office.
- A smaller data center.
We also take into account:
- How various factors will change those requirements.
- Whether you need a range of PDUs to address several different requirements.
2. Which of the Four Categories of PDUs Is Right for Your Power Challenges
Once we know your power requirements, we need to look at which of the four types of PDUs is right for each job. The four categories are:
3. Goals for Your Various Environments
The power distribution unit that’s right for your data center depends partly on the goals you want to achieve. Different PDUs lend themselves to meeting different objectives. Here are two examples of how the right PDU can serve different aims:
- Space-saving and cost-reduction in large data centers with local I.T. staff: Basic or metered PDUs might be best.
- Long term savings without employing local I.T. staff at a branch location: Switched PDUs may be a better option.
4. Your Location and Staffing Requirements
A large data center with dedicated I.T. staff has different requirements than a branch location with no I.T. staff at the site. Here’s how your location and staffing can affect the choice of power distribution units:
With a small data center with no I.T. at the location, you need a PDU that can monitor the current use and give you information about when it’s nearing capacity – a switched PDU does the job.
You have I.T. staff, but they’re at a different location, so you need to be able to break down power consumption by outlet to enable them to troubleshoot a single device – a select switched PDU is better.
You have a large data center with limited I.T. staff to reboot equipment when needed – a switched PDU allows them to do it remotely.
5. Features You Need to Minimize Downtime During Power Outages
How crucial is it for you to keep each device running during a power outage? You may have different answers for each of your devices and systems. Here are some of the ways various power distribution units can help:
- A metered PDU – gives you information on your power consumption in real time so you know when overloads are imminent and can work towards preventing them.
- A switched PDU – allows you to get the system back up without going to the site.
- A switched or monitored PDU – lets you know what’s going on at your branch location after hours.
- A switched PDU – can enable the unit to automatically power off nonessential equipment when necessary.
6. What Other Information You Need to Monitor
PDUs give you some information on power consumption. With the right power distribution units, you can get information about other functions, such as:
- Smoke alarms.
- Door-closure detectors.
- Temperature and humidity sensors.
7. The Role Your PDU Will Play in Your Overall Power Management
No matter how large or small your data center is, how many I.T. personnel are on site, or where the equipment is located, managing power well is essential to your success and profitability. Here are some of the reasons having the right PDU is more important than ever:
- Increased virtualization – you have fewer servers, but each uses a lot more power.
- Standardized data centers – you monitor power at a central location and need remote functions.
8. How We Can Provide Expert Guidance to Help You Choose the Right PDU
Of course, for us, the primary concern is knowing how to guide you in your choice of PDUs. To do that, we consult with you to find out what you require for each part of your power management system.
Because we’re knowledgeable about the many options available, we can help you find the solution that’s right for you.
We’ll assess your power distribution needs and recommend the PDUs that will help you achieve your goals.
We’ll give you the information in an easy to understand report, answer any questions you have, and help you acquire the PDUs you need. After your PDUs are installed, we provide ongoing support to help you prevent or resolve problems with them.
Choosing the right power distribution unit isn’t an easy task. You have to be mindful of your power needs, how many I.T. staff is at your location, and the goals you want to achieve with your power management system.
You need to know how power outages will affect your organization and which PDU will help you keep essential equipment running. JMARK works with your organization to help you meet your power distribution needs in the way that’s right for your unique situation and goals.
Call JMARK now at 844-44-JMARK to set up a personalized power distribution and network assessment consultation. You can also email us at jmarkit@JMARK.com or drop us a note on the Contact Us page of this site. JMARK is a managed services provider headquartered in Springfield, Missouri. We’re ready to set you on the right path to managing your technology effectively, efficiently, and reliably now and in the years to come.