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An introduction to Remote Power Switches that will help increase productivity while minimizing costs.

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How a Rack Switched PDU Protects Your Remote Sites

Related: Battery Monitoring
PDFQuick & Easy Power Distribution Guide

The name "rack switched PDU" implies three different things, and we'll discuss each term here to help you understand how they all fit together.

Switched Rack PDU example: Remote Power Switch
This is one example of a switched rack PDU, the Remote Power Switch AC from DPS Telecom.

Definition of PDU

PDUs are industrial-grade power strips used to power servers and telecommunications equipment.

Power Distribution Unit (PDUs) are essentially industrial-grade power strips. They are typically used to power servers, data centers and telecommunications equipment.

At most sites, you'll generally have too many devices to plug them all directly into your power supply, let alone individual outlets. PDUs are used to distribute your site's power to each device. This is possible because a PDU turns one (or a few) power inputs into many (usually about eight per device) power outputs.

PDUs are available in both AC and DC models to match the power in use at different kinds of sites.

Rack PDU Definition

A rack PDU is designed to be rack-mounted in an industry-standard equipment rack.

We added another layer to our definition by adding the word "rack." A rack PDU is a power distribution unit that is designed to be mounted in an industry-standard equipment rack.

These are typically either 19 inches or 23 inches in width. Height will vary depending on the capacity of your PDU, but most are just one rack unit. This translates to about 1.75 inches.

A rack-mounted PDU differs from wall-mounted PDUs or ones attached to the side of an equipment rack. These other PDUs conserve valuable physical rack space in cramped equipment racks, but they do increase the distance between the power outputs of the PDU and the power inputs of the devices that will receive electricity.

Switched PDUs Definition

A switched or managed PDU gives you remote power control. It can toggle power on and off for individual power outputs remotely.

We've defined what a rack PDU is, let's take a look at the phrase "switched PDU". Switching, in the PDU context, means toggling power on and off for individual power outputs. This simply means that you'll have remote outlet control.

How many times have you had a piece of equipment fail and all that was required to fix it was to simply turn the unit off and then on again? A switched power distribution unit acts as a master switch that can power cycle equipment so that you don't have to send a tech four hours just to turn a unit off and then back on.

Switching opens up a whole new world of remote management possibilities for your servers and other devices. Now, with a few clicks or keystrokes, you can remotely reboot servers, activate backup systems, power devices down ahead of a flood or other natural disaster, and perform other valuable power control functions.

This is why a switched PDU greatly enhances your ability to remotely manage power to your devices. You have more control over your devices remotely than you would normally.

Rack Switched PDU Definition

A switched rack PDU is a power management unit that can be mounted on an industry-standard rack and has the capability to toggle power on and off for individual power outputs remotely.

Putting it all together, a switched rack PDU combines the strengths of a rack PDU with those of a switched PDU. This kind of power distribution unit is designed to be installed in your equipment racks to distribute power to your equipment. In the event that you need to turn on, turn off, or reboot one of your devices, you can use the remote switching functionality of your switched rack PDU to handle that task from your desk - without driving to the site.

The Strong ROI of a Switched Rack Power Distribution Unit

By installing in industry-standard equipment rack enclosures, switched rack PDUs allow for a very clean and professional installation. With switching functionality, a remote PDU dramatically reduces the costs associated with driving out to sites just to activate or reboot a remote device. A switched rack PDU will ultimately save you a great deal of time and money, as well as make your customers, your boss, and your techs happy.

The Remote Power Switch AC

The Remote Power Switch AC by DPS Telecom allows you to remotely power cycle your equipment. One device has the capacity to cycle up to eight other devices, right from your central office. This saves you from having to send a tech to a site just to power cycle a piece of equipment ever again. Simply plug your devices into the back of the unit which is then connected to a power supply, similar to a surge protector.

The remote power distribution unit then takes the power and allocates it to each of the connected devices. If one of the devices stops working, you can use the Remote Power Switch to turn it off and then on again, without driving to the site. What's more, the Remote Power Switch also has RTU functionality so that you can monitor sensors and other devices all from one unit.

For complete environmental visibility, the Remote Power Switch also lets you remotely monitor internal temperature, external temperature, and current draw for each input. It's important to have intelligent PDUs at your unmanned sites, where you need to detect and respond to network issues remotely.

Using any PC on your network, you can operate controls, as well as check temperature at the site, and keep tabs on power consumption - all without any windshield time. Unlike other power switching devices, SNMP compatibility makes the Remote Power Switch special. You can choose up to 8 different notification devices - any combination of SNMP managers and email addresses.

If you have a lot of power to control at a site, you can use the expansion port on the back panel of the unit to daisy chain many Remote Power Switches together. Linked switches will act as a single unit, making them easy to control using the web interface.

Benefits of the Remote Power Switch

Remote managed PDUs can bring many benefits for your company and ultimately for your bottom line. Some of these advantages are:

  • Switch on/off and reboot, right from your desk chair providing a quick fix for:
    • Gummed up or jammed gear
    • Brown outs or a electrical transients lock up gear
    • Enforcing an auto-reboot after configuration changes
    • A next-level alternative after remote software reset failures occur
  • Built-in DWire support for monitoring sensors for complete visibility of your site, even when you can't be there
  • Available with 2 AC Inputs + 3 AC Outputs each OR 1 AC Input + 8 AC Outputs
  • Multiple build options such as: RTU version with 16 discretes, 4 analogs & 2 controls OR only AC switching power
  • SNMP compatibility so you can seamlessly integrate the unit into your network
  • Available in DC versions
  • Ability to monitor current draw of connected devices
  • Cascade several units together as one logical device using the base unit's IP address
  • Enable and disable remote access to the unit for on-site troubleshooting
  • Web browser interface for immediate remote access anytime
  • Built-in temperature monitoring to track changing environmental conditions
  • Flexible connectors - Order the exact power connectors you need
  • RoHS 5/6 compliant
  • DPS Telecom's 30-day, risk-free, money-back guarantee

Check out our catalog of Remote Power Switches offered at DPS Telecom.

Invest in an Efficient Remote PDU Management

When you're ready to reduce costly truck rolls by deploying a Remote Power Switch to gain complete control of your equipment, give us a call. We'd be happy to help you design your perfect system, at no cost to you.