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The Power Rating of a Rack PDU Is Not Always the Load Capacity

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Even if you aren’t an IT specialist, you probably understand circuit breakers and electricity. Each breaker is designed to handle a specific power load. When that capacity is overloaded, the breaker trips and shuts off the electricity to the circuit. The same thing happens with a rack power distribution unit (PDU) that distributes the electrical power to your computers and network. By understanding how the power rating differs from the load capacity, your organization can prevent overloading the PDUs that keep your computers operating efficiently.

Power Rating

One issue in power ratings when it comes to PDUs is that North America and Europe label the capacity differently. Outside of North America, the circuits are simply labeled as the rated capacity; you may see one that says 16A or 32A. In North America, manufacturers label the units with their maximum load capacity.

Why is this a problem? It’s because the PDU is actually designed to be loaded at only 80 percent of their capacity. This is referred to as a derated value or the load capacity. Thus, if you have a 20A PDU, it’s actual load capacity is only 16A. While the PDU may certainly carry 20A for a limited time, eventually it will trip and the system will go down.

Simplify the Network

Although there are formulas which let your IT manager calculate the load capacity and voltage that is appropriate for each section of the PDU, there is a much easier method to keep your system balanced. An intelligent PDU takes the guesswork and math out of the capacity equation.

In today’s business world, your network and computers need to be fully functional and operational when you need them to be. Keeping the power load evenly distributed ensures that your IT department doesn’t go down when you need it most. It also helps your organization use electricity more efficiently to save money. What business couldn’t use more time and money?

Intelligent PDUs also provide more benefits such as metering that alerts the team to potential problems. Your IT department has access to logs which help them see erratic power consumption or ghost servers. By understanding that the power rating is not necessarily the load capacity, you can more evenly distribute power and take steps to grow your system as needed. Instead of buying more equipment than you need or not having enough, with intelligent PDUs, a business can operate with purpose. Learn how an intelligent PDU would upgrade the network in your organization.



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