Inus Dreckmeyr

Netshield South Africa says its Zero U Smart power distribution units (PDUs) – which can be managed via IoT, cloud, SNMP network or the Web and form part of its growing energy smart product portfolio – continue to stand up to the rigours of the South African landscape, including in data centres, core and distribution network installations, two years after their launch.

“The role of power distribution units in the data centre is to manage and meter power consumption within the rack, and to provide a link between a building’s UPS power supply and specific equipment, such as a server in a rack. Power distribution units control, quantify and monitor the power flowing into the equipment housed in the cabinet. This is critical for planning any expansions of your network, because it allows you to understand the limits of current power delivery to the cabinet and reveals the amount of reserve power that is available for adding equipment or expanding existing equipment,” says Inus Dreckmeyr, CEO of Netshield, a Westcon-Comstor Southern Africa company.

Monitoring the power consumption within the cabinet has a secondary advantage – it acts as an early warning of possible equipment failures. It does this by alerting managers automatically if the PDU detects deviations from preset expected high or low consumption levels. The capability to add environmental sensors to these PDUs brings the advantage of monitoring temperature, humidity and flooding in the cabinet at relatively low costs, Dreckmeyr says.

Local ISPs, SPs, telcos and anyone wanting to run a reliable data centre have benefited – and continue to benefit – from Netshield’s Smart managed Zero U PDUs, which are designed for quick and simple installation. The units are a cost-efficient solution to deliver reliable high-volume power distribution and environmental monitoring within the cabinet. They also offer scalable outlet configurations and mounting options, to fit into high-density data centre cabinets and do not consume any equipment space within the cabinet, he says.

The Netshield PDUs run optimally in any cabinets from most cabinet manufacturers and is installed vertically, on either side, onto the rear uprights of any cabinet. The Smart PDUs provide full active Class 1 metering for energy optimisation and circuit protection, measuring KWh (accumulative), KVArh, kW, Kvar, KVA, PF, Hz, inflowing voltage and current.

User-defined preset alarm thresholds mitigate risk with real-time remote alerts to warn of potential circuit overloads and or variations. Netshield’s Smart PDUs also provide power utilisation data to allow informed decisions on load balancing and right-sizing IT environments.

Netshield Smart PDUs include realtime power monitoring with serial and logical temperature, humidity and flooding sensor expansion ports. The PDUs can be accessed and configured through an IoT, Web or SNMP interface and are managed through Netshield Centralized Management systems.

The PDUs come in four basic variations, depending on the sensors attached to the PDU:

  • PDU only – monitoring only of a single feed to the cabinet
  • PDU with power socket expansion module – monitoring from a single IP address of both A, B and C power feeds to the cabinet.
  • PDU with a sensor hub – interfacing to multiple temperature, humidity and flooding sensors with simplistic expansion of sensors count.

PDU with direct connection to temperature sensors only – a cost-effective way of providing temperature monitoring