Achieving Data Center Simplicity and Standardization with a Universal Rack PDU

May 19, 2020

When something doesn’t fit quite right, we might say it’s like fitting a square peg into a round hole. Anyone who has traveled to another country with a hair dryer knows the feeling – without a power adapter, the plug on the dryer likely won’t fit into the plug on the wall.

This is an even bigger problem when we talk about power infrastructures for data centers. Every country in the world has a different power configuration for racks. Each power configuration has its own SKU, meaning IT integrators have to manage more inventory and change orders for global projects. Further compounding the problem is the fact that there are different outlet types around the world.

In Europe, integrators will likely use three-phase power (Y) in a rack, whereas data centers in the U.S., Latin America, and Asia more frequently use a four-wire (Delta) system. This means an integrator with a global footprint would need to have multiple rack configurations. If a SKU was built for North America, it can’t be sent to Europe and vice versa.

The question becomes, how can we simplify the number of configurations for integrators to manage?

Enter the Project Olympus PDU, which supports multiple power configurations and can connect in both Y and Delta. We expanded on Microsoft’s original offering with our Universal Power Distribution Unit (UPDU), solving for the different integrated cabinet configurations used in different regions around the world.

This is a gamechanger for data centers. In the past, the only way to solve for the multiple configurations issue was to have one unit with 24 outlets, often leading to overprovisioning in size. Now, we have a single PDU that can be used globally.

The UPDU simplifies critical IT infrastructure deployments by allowing a single model to be installed around the world. That means reduced inventory, quicker and easier deployments, and fewer headaches for integrators. The UPDU has been deployed in more than 50,000 cabinets around the world.

The next step in the evolution will likely address how we can take away sprawl by finding one receptacle that will work across the world. At Vertiv, we are working toward a universal input and universal outlet.

To watch our full session from the Open Compute Summit, visit this URL.

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