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What Is A DataCenter Power Distribution Unit (pdu) Server Rack Cabinets

DataCenter Power Distribution Unit

No matter whether you call it a server closet or server room or a cabinet, the most crucial point you need to take care of is choosing the right Power Distribution Unit for your servers. Let us check out what exactly is a DataCenter Power Distribution Unit and how it handles the power requirements of your servers in today’s post.

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What Is A DataCenter Power Distribution Unit

A Power Distribution Unit – generally referred to as PDU is a device that is used to control the electrical power to your servers and data centers.  The basic form of a power distributor unit will have a power strip without the surge protection option.

Data centers usually face an issue regarding power protection and management solutions. Opting for PDUs will be helpful in monitoring and improving the overall efficiency.

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Types of Power Distribution Units

The PDU is designed for providing standard electrical outputs for data center equipment. Under ideal conditions, they do not offer remote monitoring or access capabilities.

The most common types of Power Distribution Units are either Rack Mounted or Floor Mounted. They are quite sophisticated and provide data for effective usage performance for better performance.

The Floor Mounted PDU

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The Floor Mounted Power Distribution Unit is also referred to as Main Distribution Unit or MDU. This will work as a bridge between the primary power different racks in the data center. The PDU can handle a large amount of energy when compared to the regular power strips. The capacity would be 300 kilovolt-amps or even more. It can help provide power to multiple equipment racks with ease.

The Rack Mounted PDU

The Rack Mounted Power Distribution Unit, on the other hand, will offer power to equipment directly. This will help you control and monitor the power requirements of specific servers. It aids the servers, switches and other data services. It can also assist you in balancing the power loads. These PDUs are also referred to as Smart PDUs or Intelligent PDUs as well.

The Rack Mounted Power Distribution Units offer you three phase display to share the power and remote management tools.

A few other models of Power Distribution Units include the following form factors –


Data centers need large PDUs and thus ensure power requirements for multiple server cabinets. They come with a pre-punched panel at the top and bottom for securing a safer cable entry. There are also internal bus bars for neutral and grounding requirements. There can be rows of cabinets or a single cabinet. The single standalone cabinet can be self-contained in every respect and thus include the accessories like main breakers, individual circuit breakers, and power monitoring panels.


The movable power distribution units can be the best options if you are looking for them for your smaller offices or homes. They are compact and can be quickly moved from one place to another.

How To Choose a Power Distribution Unit?

A Power Distribution Unit is primarily used for remotely rebooting your server applications. The capacity to remotely boot your servers or any other essential equipment should be one of the best features that you should be looking forward to in a Power Distribution Unit.

Here are a few tips that would be helpful in understanding the Power Distribution Units and buying the right one for your needs.

Go for the Rack Mounted Options

Power Distribution Units come in multiple shapes and sizes. The best you would go with is the rack Mountable Power Distribution Unit. They are best suited to be placed just beside your servers. Since they are controlling your server, they should best be set on the rack, and that is precisely why we prefer you to go with a frame mounted option.

If you think the rack can have issues with the physical space, it may be practical enough to go with minimized space saving rack PDU.

Check for the Ability to Support Redundant Server Power Supplies

The best Power Distribution should be capable of handling the servers with redundant power supplies. The servers with redundant power supplies tend to be a little difficult and cumbersome to manage. You will need to go through a manual power off and On commands which can be an issue in itself.
The PDU with a capacity for handling redundant power supplies will have a capability to link several power outputs with one another and allows you opt for a single remote reboot command.

A Useful Web Interface

A powerful and best Power Distribution Unit is the one that will offer you an easy to use the web interface for issuing remote power commands. You should be able to login to this web interface from any browser on any PC. This would be akin to the way you would access the settings for your router or modem.

This will provide you with an ease of use and lack of the need for installing any additional software. This should indeed be an added advantage in its own right.

Check out additional Features

Several manufacturers of PDUs provide a few additional functionalities and thus help you save money on other purchases if any. One of the prime examples can be the Power Distribution Unit with alarming network feature. This will help you monitor the status of your discrete inputs in a better way.

The Concluding Thoughts

That was all we have concerning the Power Distribution Units while opting for a PDU, ensure that you are paying more attention to the features of your new PDU instead of being too skimpy about the price. After all, you are planning to make a long time investment. Now that you have invested heavily on your servers, it should be equally important to go with the proper financing for your Power Distribution Units as well.

Share your thoughts concerning the Power Distribution Units you have opted for. Provide us with your inputs on the best ways to get the most out of your servers and the power distribution unit.

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