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How to Evaluate Your Power Distribution Needs

First’s thing first, what is a power distribution unit? A power distribution unit (or commonly referred to as PDU) is a device that is fitted with multiple outputs and is designed to distribute electricity as it is needed to networked computers or servers within data centres. Given that sensitive data that is often stored within data centres, often power protection and advanced monitoring capabilities are required with the power distribution units. So the next question that is commonly asked is how much power distribution is needed? It is important to determine the right amount of power needed as often the businesses that are looking into installing a power distribution unit are ones that need power 24/7 or during business hours as it is crucial to the success of the businesses activities (such as call centres or hospitals). 

 

Evaluate the past and future 

Power distribution units generally have a longer cycle than other servers so it is important to select the right unit for the job, keeping in mind the anticipated growth of the organisation. A data centre should be equipped with versatile power distribution units that feature several outlets to accommodate for different electrical equipment and devices incase the organisations IT departments needs change in the future. 

 

Power Ratings

The most important feature of a power distribution unit is its power ratings. As the main purpose is to supply power to electrical equipment, it is vital to know that the PDU that you have selected is able to cope with the power that is being generated. Three important indicators which can give insight into the power distribution capabilities include: amperage, voltage and phase. They sound technical, we know, but we have broken them down for you below:

 

Amperage – Amperage measures the amount of sustained power that the power distribution unit can maintain at a safe level. Essentially it measures the strength of the power current that is running through a circuit. If the power amount exceeds the amount that the PDU can safely handle, it can result in a blown fuse which is a serious fire hazard and danger as well as the inconvenience aspect of it too. 

Voltage – Voltage measures the total power available. Different pieces of electrical equipment require different amounts of power naturally but judging from historical data, voltage power demands are on the rise, meaning that if there was ever a time to review your power distribution unit, the time would be now. 

Phase – There are different phases of power and the distinction between single or three phase power is important for when it comes to selecting a power distribution unit. Single-phase power delivers power in a single line (most residential houses use single phase power). Whereas three-phase power delivers power currents over three smaller lines, meaning that it can deliver more power at a faster and more efficient rate. 

 

Types of Data Center Power Distribution Units

Power Distribution Units are available within a selection of styles, generally based on the aesthetics and size of the PDU which is helpful to know so that you can select the most appropriate style that will suit and fit your area.

 

Basic Power Distribution Unit – described within the name, these units are only suitable for a small server room as they lack the functionality and power that is needed for larger data centres. 

Metered Power Distribution Unit – these units are able to measure the power consumption, which allows the data centre technicians to monitor how well the power is distributed through the unit which is beneficial as it can assist in improving the power/cooling efficiency. 

Monitored Power Distribution Unit – these units are wired into the business’s intelligence platform, allowing them to collect real – time data, therefore resulting in real-time metrics. Perfect for high performance demands.

Switched Power Distribution Unit – these units are similar to monitored power distribution units except they have the added feature of a remote control which enables the power usage to be monitored and controlled without having to enter the control room.

 

If this all sounds a bit too complicated for you, reach out to the specialists in power management and power protection solutions, Northern Lights Data. We will be able to assist with any enquiries that you may have and will be able to evaluate your power distribution needs so that you don’t have to. Get in touch with our consultants and let us customise a solution that meets your power management needs.

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