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Power distribution unit

(also PDU)

Power distribution unit definition

A power distribution unit (PDU) is a device that provides power to IT equipment in data centers, such as computers, servers, and other networking devices. The unit manages the power supply in the data centers and ensures that every piece of equipment has a reliable, consistent, and dependable power supply. A power distribution unit relays alternating current from one source to multiple devices in a data center. It does not generate electricity. Power distribution units are connected to the main power supply of the data center, such as a generator, UPS, or utility power. It relays the power from the main power supply to the equipment in the data center, thus providing it with electricity.

See also: power usage effectiveness, data center rack

Power distribution unit types

  • Basic power distribution unit. A basic power distribution unit provides a reliable power supply to multiple pieces of equipment in data centers. It does not offer protection from power surges and requires a rack surge protector to do so.
  • Managed power distribution unit. A managed power distribution unit offers more comprehensive management features than a basic one, including monitoring, regulating, and controlling power usage in a data center. In addition, it can give backup power during power outages.
  • Metered power distribution unit. A metered power distribution unit comes with a current meter, allowing enterprises to monitor real-time load levels. This enables companies to balance loads and prevent overloads in data centers efficiently.
  • Monitored power distribution unit. A monitored power distribution unit offers even more advanced monitoring options than managed ones. With a monitored power distribution unit, enterprises can track the power distribution in their data centers and identify power fluctuations.