A cooperative effort between city governments and private enterprises is leading cities to adopt the goal of becoming “smart cities.” While the definition of a smart city depends on who you ask, the most common understanding seems to be that a smart city provides for the real-time monitoring and control of the city's infrastructure and services. Thus, smart cities should reduce energy use, reduce pollution, improve public safety, and improve the quality of life for the citizens and visitors.
Smart cities require vast arrays of widely distributed sensors and control devices dispersed throughout their environs. In turn, both wired and wireless networks are deployed to unite the sensors and control systems. These systems gather, store, and process data and then widely distribute the distilled information quickly to the point(s) where the information can be acted upon or consumed. Edge computing infrastructure handles time-sensitive applications and data aggregation. In contrast, private and public cloud infrastructure provides general-purpose utility computing, big data analysis, and long-term information storage.
Working with trusted partners that are experts with intelligent PDUs to power the sensors, systems, and networks of a smart city is just plain smart.
Across the spectrum of manufacturers, an intelligent PDU will have the following two essential features:
1) It will provide feedback about the unit’s operation: these rack power strips provide metering of the input and output power at the unit. The power data is typically displayed at the unit and on a central device via network connections. Some units provide this connection via ethernet; others opt for wireless network or Bluetooth connections. Most manufacturers provide software to manage their units, as well as integration into DCIM software packages.
2) It will offer remote control of the operation of the unit: sometimes referred to as a ‘switched’ PDU. These units provide features that allow you to turn the power on and off to individual receptacles at the unit. This control feature is enabled through a network connection to each power distribution unit as described above. The network connection allows the data center manager to enable or disable outlets from a remote location, either within the facility or elsewhere.