A metered power distribution unit (PDU), is a type of intelligent rack PDU that provides information about the power being consumed, such as:
- Current (A). Amperage is a measure of how fast an electrical current flows. Devices have a rating bases on the number of amps they can support. A higher amp rating on a device indicates that it can utilize more power before being overloaded.
- Voltage (V). Voltage is a measure of electromotive force. One volt causes a current of one amp to flow through a conductor. Higher voltage allows more power to travel through a circuit.
- Actual power (W). Wattage is a measure of the real power available in an electrical circuit and is often measured in kilowatts (kW) or megawatts (MW). An average server cabinet may require around 7kW while high power density racks may consume much more.
- Apparent power (kVA). Apparent power, or the total power flowing, is measured as the product of the voltage and current.
- Kilowatt-hours (kWh). Determines actual power usage and is used for reporting on how much power customers consume and billing them.
- Power factor. The ratio of real power to apparent power, or how much of the power is being used to do work.
- PDU circuit breaker current and status. Used to avid overloading a PDU and risking an outage caused by a tripped breaker.
- Line current for three-phase PDUs. Useful for keeping the load on each phase equal to maintain power balance.
PDUs can be metered at either the inlet or outlet level:
- Inlet metered PDUs. Provides power data for the PDU as a whole. These PDUs help users determine power usage and available capacity of circuits, making it easier to provision equipment. They also allow users to avoid overloading circuits and to calculate efficiency metrics such as Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE).
- Outlet metered PDUs. Metering at the outlet level adds a level of sophistication by providing power data for each individual outlet on the PDU. Users can more accurately determine levels of power consumption and available capacity at the rack, facilitating provisioning. A more specific function of outlet metered PDUs is to help users understand the actual power consumption at the device or server level, allowing for comparisons of efficiencies and for allocating costs to specific customers or business units to utilize resources efficiently.
Metered PDU Monitoring with DCIM Software
Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software is often used to enhance many of the features and capabilities available with metered and other intelligent PDUs in an integrated, single pane of glass interface. Data collected from metered PDUs is automatically turned into actionable information via business intelligence dashboards and visual analytics. Remote management and power actions, bulk firmware updates, cloning configurations, and restoring from backups can all be accomplished through the same UI.
Want to see how Sunbird’s world-leading DCIM software makes it easy for you to centrally monitor and manage all your metered PDUs? Get your free test drive now!