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Considerations for Selecting a PDU with Proper Outlet Type and Density

January 12, 2017

eConnect Locking OutletsData center power density is constantly rising. 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.

In most data centers, high-density cabinets consist of the following configurations:

Rack Full of 1U/2U Servers in Taller Cabinets
These cabinets would typically have a high number of lower amperage servers that are powered through IEC 320 C14 connectors. For these deployments, the appropriate rack power distribution unit (PDU) should provide a high quantity of IEC 320 C13 outlets. Chatsworth Products (CPI) is one of the few providers of intelligent PDUs that feature as many as 60 C13 outlets within a standard form factor to support 45U or taller cabinets. Additionally, CPI’s PDUs are tested to withstand the heat found in a high-density enclosure.

Rack Filled with a Few Blade Chassis or Data Center-level Modular Network Switches
These cabinets would typically have fewer pieces of equipment, all being powered through multiple power supplies, each utilizing one or several C20 connectors. For these deployments, intelligent rack PDUs that have a high number of C19 outlets are required.

Unsure of Type of Equipment to be Supported?

In an ideal scenario, the decision about the types of outlets and densities to be supported on an intelligent PDU should be made after the IT equipment to be deployed has been selected. However, in the event the decision about the PDU has to be made earlier, it is advised to select an intelligent PDU that provides a good mix of C13 and C19 outlets. Having a higher count of C19 outlets will always be beneficial because these types of outlets can power both equipment with a C14 or C20 connector.

On the other hand, a C13 outlet cannot be used to power a higher amperage C20 connector. Again, the power supplies in smaller rack-mount equipment such as 1U/2U servers, typically use the C14/C13 connection, and the power supplies in larger blade and modular switch equipment typically use the higher amperage C19/C20 connection.

Need Additional Help?

CPI’s technical staff are eager to assist in selecting the right power solution for your installation. For more complex projects, you can request to have one of our field engineers provide you an onsite assessment. Or, take advantage of our online resources such as the Power Selector or eConnect® Product webpage.

Ashish Moondra, Sr. Product Manager, Power, Electronics & Software

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