The Four Trends That are Driving the Intelligent PDU Market

Oct. 3, 2016
In this week’s Voices of the Industry, Ashish Moondra, Sr. Product Manager Power, Electronics & Software for Chatsworth Products, discusses the four trends that are driving the intelligent PDU market.

In this week’s Voices of the Industry, Ashish Moondra, Sr. Product Manager Power, Electronics & Software for Chatsworth Products, discusses the four trends that are driving the intelligent PDU market.

Ashish Moondra, Sr. Product Manager Power, Electronics & Software for Chatsworth Products

A recent power distribution (PDU) study by research and analysis firm IHS highlights a few features that are driving the market demand in the PDU industry.

These demands are a reflection of higher virtualization, equipment consolidation (higher rack power density) and more efficient computing that we see in the market today. For example, while an average cabinet supported 3 – 4 kW a few years ago, today that power load is considered in low-density environments. It is certainly not uncommon to have cabinets drawing 9 – 15 kW and in several cases, even higher than that.

Users are seeing products with more intelligent features such as remote control and switching, enterprise reporting and monitoring capabilities, according to IHS. As such, the global PDU market is forecasted to grow 5.6 percent year-over-year to reach almost 1 billion in 2016, IHS says.

Here are the four features driving the PDU market growth:

Demand for high power ratings

High-density environments require more input power from the PDU. Extending three-phase connections to the rack boosts the amount of power you can deliver through each PDU, increasing rack density. It also simplifies load balancing across the three input phases coming into the datacenter leading to improved efficiencies.

Increasing voltage, allows lower amperage circuits, which use smaller conductors to deliver more power.

Therefore, for greenfield opportunities, it’s important to consider deployment of three-phase PDUs that can take an input of 415V as against the traditional 208V

Shift toward more intelligent products

As the need for availability continues to rise, data center operators need to constantly monitor power across the entire power chain including Rack PDUs. Most Intelligent PDUs provide monitoring of voltage, amperage, power and energy at the input and branch circuit levels with threshold and notification capabilities.  To be able to gain visibility and take proactive steps to reducing IT equipment energy consumption, there is also a growing trend to invest in Intelligent PDUs that provide monitoring capabilities down to the outlet level.

One of the biggest challenges associated with deployment of intelligent PDUs is the additional costs of networking all of the PDUs within the datacenter. PDUs with Secure Array technology can help reduce these costs significantly by consolidating up to 32 PDUs under a single IP address with failover capabilities.

Demand for environmental and security features

Increased temperatures in data centers improve cooling system efficiencies and lower cooling costs, but the exhaust temperature is also increasing. To prevent equipment failure due to overheating, it is necessary to deploy PDUs with high ambient temperature ratings.

On the security aspect, find a solution that supports network protocols with integrated security and various user authentication methods including HTTP/HTTPS, SNMP v1/v2/v3, RADIUS and LDAP integration and Secure Socket Layer (SSL). At the physical level, it is possible to prevent accidental disconnections with the use of locking outlet features, that click straight cords into place, and do not unplug during moves, adds and changes.

Need for power provisioning, capacity planning and remote control

By measuring power at the rack or device level, operators can identify underutilized or overutilized capacity. PDUs with special switching capabilities also allow remote outlet control (ON/OFF) capability for every outlet, so that unused outlets can be turned off when not in use. Furthermore, by integrating intelligent PDUs with a centralized power management software solution, for example, operators can track power use over time and report costs of activities.


The modern data center requires intelligent products that not only meet the minimum market requirements but exceed expectations in reliability, capability and quality. I have recently written a white paper discussing the key considerations for deploying intelligent PDUs in high-density environments, describing how each feature plays an important role in the success of your power system. Click here to download, “Considerations for Intelligent Power Management within High-Density Deployment.”

Ashish Moondra is the Senior Product Manager for Power, Electronics and Software at Chatsworth Products (CPI). He has 20 years of experience developing, selling and managing rack power distribution, uninterruptible power supplies, energy storage and DCIM solutions. Ashish has previously worked with American Power Conversion, Emerson Network Power and Active Power.

About the Author

Voices of the Industry

Our Voice of the Industry feature showcases guest articles on thought leadership from sponsors of Data Center Frontier. For more information, see our Voices of the Industry description and guidelines.

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