Last blog we discussed the differences in PDUs and powerstrips, now we’re taking a deeper dive into PDUs and how to figure out how many you need for your data center or facility. Power distribution units, or PDUs, are an essential piece of equipment in many data centers and other facilities. They can help to ensure all your computer equipment has a reliable stream of clean electricity, and much more. There are many different models of PDUs on the market, which can make it difficult to determine how many PDUs you need for your facility, and which features are right for you. The following are some of the most important things to look at when weighing your options.
Types of PDUs
When you start shopping for power distribution units, you will quickly see that there are hundreds of different options. You can get a PDU that is designed to provide power to thousands of devices, or one that is much more limited in scope. The larger the device you choose, the fewer of them you will need. For example, many enterprise data centers operate with as few as two large PDUs (two for redundancy more than necessity).
In recent years, PDUs have had many advancements to meet the needs of business owners. One of the most significant advancements is in the area of monitoring capabilities. No longer are PDUs just an efficient way to distribute power to many different devices, but are an essential component in your overall equipment and environment monitoring strategy. Modern PDUs can provide information on things such as:
- Power Usage by Outlet – You can monitor how much power is being used by each outlet. In order to take advantage of this feature, you’ll need to have a higher number of smaller PDUs so that each device is plugged directly into a PDU.
- Power Usage Over Time – Having access to the power usage reports will help you to plan for your power needs today, and into the future. See buying options of RackSolutions PDUs here.
More advanced PDUs have capabilities such as:
- Temperature – You can learn what the temperature is in the area surrounding the PDU, which is very helpful when you have one PDU installed in each equipment rack.
- Humidity – Humidity sensors are installed in most advanced PDUs, so you can have accurate readings throughout your facility.
When it comes to deciding how many PDUs a facility needs, it is important to consider these features. If a facility chooses to use one or two very large scale PDUs, they won’t be able to take advantage of these features as much. This is because power cables will be run from the one central location (PDU) to each device throughout the facility. Having an individual PDU in each rack, or at least one in each row of racks, will provide the best use of the built-in monitoring features.
Of course, one of the most important factors that will influence how many PDUs are needed in a facility is going to be the power requirements of the equipment. Very large facilities that operate hundreds or thousands of pieces of equipment will either need very large PDUs, or a larger number of smaller PDUs. The important thing to consider when looking at power requirements is that the needs will change over time. Purchasing PDUs that have sufficient power capacity to handle the needs of the facility today, and estimated needs for several years to come, is critical.
Layout of Your Facility
While most very large data centers are going to be roughly square or rectangle, that is not always the case for smaller facilities. With very large facilities, it is possible to have enterprise level PDUs located in the center of the equipment. If a building doesn’t have one central data center, but rather places computer equipment in separate racks on each floor or in each area, it will make more sense to use one smaller PDU in each area.
Budget for PDUs
Data center and IT professionals would love it if budget were no concern, but that is almost never the case. When determining how many PDUs a facility needs, it is always important to look at the overall budget for this type of equipment. In many cases, it will be impossible to purchase the largest capacity PDUs that may be ideal because they just cost to much. When this is the case, it often makes sense to purchase the more affordable options as equipment is installed so the total cost is spread out.
How Many PDUs Does a Facility Need
As you may have guessed, there is no set formula for determining the exact number of PDUs a facility is going to need. There are many factors that must be considered, and then a decision will have to be made. Rack Solutions has many different high-quality PDUs available to choose from, so you have options for the exact type you need. If you want help from knowledgeable data center professionals, click here to get in touch with us to discuss the specifics of your facility. We’ll be happy to go over all your options and help you to choose the PDUs that make most sense for your environment.