A PDUs main purpose is to supply AC power to multiple pieces of IT equipment within the rack. This can be as simple as a basic power strip with no internal intelligence that simply provides AC power to the connected IT equipment, or as advanced as an outlet-level PDU that can remotely monitor, control, and report on the status of every outlet within the unit.
Basic – Provide power to the IT equipment without any advanced features such as metering or monitoring. They are widely available, easy to use and have a lower cost.
Metered – Provide the data necessary to properly load and balance rack power circuits. LED display lets administrators know how much headroom exists between current capacity and the maximum draw of the strip.
Smart/Monitored – Typically include the feature sets of metered products in a single unit but also has the ability to remotely (IP) monitor the state of the distribution unit.
Switched – Includes the features of the Metered PDU as well as the ability to remotely control the on/off state and reboot capabilities of each outlet contained in the unit through a web interface or a serial (RS232) menu.
Outlet Level Power Monitoring – Provides unprecedented reliable and granular visibility into power consumption, coupled with remote/network power, and environmental monitoring.
A rack PDU (power distribution unit) is a device designed to fit into a server rack in either a vertical (0U) or horizontal (1U or more) position. Rack mount PDUs are offered in many sizes and configurations depending on voltage, current, number, and type of connections, as well as remote access and monitoring functionality.