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Eaton PDUs OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

What is Eaton PDUs?

Planes. Hospitals. Factories. Data centers. Vehicles. The electrical grid. These are things people depend on every day. And the companies behind them depend on Eaton to solve some of the toughest power management challenges on the planet.

Eaton PDUs is also known as Eaton Power Distribution Units.

Eaton PDUs Buyer's Guide

Download the Eaton PDUs Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

Eaton PDUs Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Eaton PDUs pricing:
  • "The pricing is higher, but you're also buying from a company that's been around for decades. It has the staff to support you so that when you call at 2 o'clock in the morning, somebody is going to help you out. You're not going to have to wait until 8:00 AM the next day. It's more pricey, but I definitely think it's worth the money."

Eaton PDUs Reviews

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SC
Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 10Leaderboard
Basic, stable, dependable, reliable, and prevents downtime for our server

Pros and Cons

  • "What's most valuable about this is that Eaton built for us the exact model that I needed. We went through the customization options, everything from the cable length and electrical specifications to the color of the PDU. It showed different color PDUs to keep my company's data center that much more organized."
  • "The initial setup was slightly complicated due to the mounting incompatibility with the competitor's server cabinets, the one that I described to you earlier."

What is our primary use case?

We use the PDUs in our data centers for our critical production service systems. These five servers are servers that we need running 24/7.

I was looking for a PDU vendor. I've been on the search for the PDU vendor since our existing PDU vendor, we were having some technical issues with. It was fortuitous that I discovered Eaton at a trade show, I saw their PDUs and I talked with them. They were friendly, and we got in contact. They came to our office to visit us and introduced themselves. They are straightforward, professional, and pleasant.

They knew that we are not the largest customer. We only have several dozen cabinets. However, they said they wanted to treat me just like their large customers. They've done so. These PDUs that they've made for us are custom PDUs to fit our specifications. They addressed specific technical issues that we had with a prior PDU vendor. 

With another PDU vendor, we had problems with the controller malfunctioning and individual outputs were switching off. This meant that some of our servers were losing power randomly and uncontrollably. It's a small issue but I asked Eaton, "Please, when you make these PDUs, make sure we get the ones without switchable outlets. We want ones where the outlets are directly permanently attached to the busbars." They made sure of that.

In working with Eaton, we came across another issue that they were very responsive to that was the mounting of the PDUs into our server cabinets. We had an issue mounting the Eaton PDUs into a competitor's server cabinets. It was an alignment issue and our Eaton representative came out personally, made measurements, and we discussed in detail exactly what needs to be done from an engineering standpoint to make the PDUs fit perfectly in these competing company's cabinets.

He put me in touch with their engineering design manager. We cleared up the issue, and they also sent us additional mounting hardware to make sure that these PDUs would fit perfectly in our cabinets. They were very attentive through this process, very detail-oriented, and very solution-focused. These are seemingly small things, the mounting of the PDU in the cabinet and the electrical outlets, but they're not flashy things. They're not very interesting things, but these are the most crucial things because this is everyday operations. We need the dependability to make sure that our operations continue running successfully.

We don't need the flashy things, extra features that don't contribute to the basic things. They took care very carefully and very responsively to make sure that these are addressed. I feel secure that this is one less thing that I have to worry about.

How has it helped my organization?

The PDUs are recent. Where I've replaced these PDUs, we don't have the random power outages and in these cabinets with the Eaton PDUs, the cabinets are that much more organized, and we have more outlets in the cabinets.

Replacing PDUs with Eaton's solutions prevented downtime for our servers.

The high density of outlets allows us to increase server density per cabinet but I wouldn't call it saving space.

In terms of time, I would say that it saved us from addressing specific electrical outages that were occurring before. We solved the problem and don't dedicate time solving power issues. 

What is most valuable?

What's most valuable about this is that Eaton built for us the exact model that I needed. We went through the customization options, everything from the cable length and electrical specifications to the color of the PDU. It showed different color PDUs to keep my company's data center that much more organized.

For me, it's about the basic, stable, dependable, reliable operation, not the flashy features.

The PDUs' color chassis options are a benefit. We use different color PDUs in our data center to mark the primary and redundant side of the electrical circuits, and we also use matching-colored electrical cables going between PDUs and the servers in our equipment. So, because we use remote hands to perform a great deal of our data center work, the color-coding matching makes it that much clearer for whoever's working in the cabinet. It's cleaner and it's more organized.

If we do have a technical issue that requires us to trace down or replug cables, which in a data center it's not like plugging something in your home. We need to pay attention to the power balance, all the electrical phases, and the load across all the cabinets. We need to take care. We need to be very careful about what is being plugged into where. Otherwise, we suffer a power failure and server outage. That makes our job that much easier.

Eaton's PDUs provide more outlets than any other PDUs. It was significantly important when making our decision to go with Eaton.

What needs improvement?

In engineering, especially for something specific like this particular sort of product, it's complete not when there's nothing left to add, but when there's nothing left to take away. I use the Eaton PDUs because they're simple, reliable engineering. They're not adding all these other excessive features that could cause problems. That's all I ask of a power solution like this.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Eaton for less than one year.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Right now, we have six Eaton PDUs. I would estimate that we are using these PDUs for about 100 servers right now. There is the option for the custom outlet configuration which I've already availed myself of and I will continue to do so.

I'm on a team of about 12 people who work in this center and address our data center. I am responsible for the day-to-day operations of our data center. Our team is called the Infrastructure Team, so we deal with the data center, networking, servers, network connections, and these kind of fundamental platform needs for the company.

How are customer service and technical support?

I could not ask for better support. Their post-customer support is most attentive to our specific needs, and they did not let our case drop.

Their service and their post-sale support have been so excellent and so personable that there's no way I could ask for any better.

Because of their post-sale support, I will continue to use Eaton.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was slightly complicated due to the mounting incompatibility with the competitor's server cabinets.

Eaton was very positively responsive in addressing that and making sure that, number one, I had a temporary solution to make it fit that they sent overnight immediately some brackets to make it fit, to mount perfectly. It was perfectly aligned in the cabinet, and then after that when they put me in touch with their engineering manager, we discussed exactly what design changes could be made to the PDUs in order to not require the brackets, the temporary solution in the future. They actually took my suggestions as a product design change in order to accommodate us and other customers in the future, which is excellent customer support. That's the reason I say I could not ask for better.

It has enabled us to configure as many outlets as we want in a length that fits our specific rack size. I chose the exact outlet configuration that I needed for the rack space. We can make use of all the rack space. Before, we were running out of outlets with the competitor's PDU.

The custom cord entry position and custom input cord length affect box-to-rack transition by making the cable organization in the cabinet cleaner because I use the shortest possible cord length from the PDU to the receptacle because I do not want excessive cables laying about. I chose the correct alignment. I don't remember if it was front or side but in order to facilitate the correct mounting of the PDU in the cabinet.

It is easy to configure the solution post-install. There's barely anything to configure. I started plugging in our servers and I used the snap lock to retain the server cords. I figured out as far as the controller menu, the LCD interface, I did not even look at the menu. I just tried the buttons on it and it was easy to figure out.

Once we got past the specific mounting issues it was less than a half-hour per cabinet to replace the PDUs.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI. We don't have the random power outage issues. That peace of mind is worth the price.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I don't know that we use their service or part replacement plan. I asked them about the warranty upfront before we purchased it and they made it clear that if there are any issues with the hardware, they would take care of it. They left me feeling confident about that.

I value quality above price. PDUs are not something that you should try to cut corners on.

What other advice do I have?

We do not use Eaton's remote monitoring at the moment. We intend to set metered outlets up, but we have not set it up yet.

My advice would be to keep it simple and don't be afraid to try something new if you haven't before.

The people at Eaton treated me very fairly. They were very straight and professional in addressing my needs. They were very attentive and it was that kind of service and attention which made me certain that they have the right attitudes backing the product, the design, and manufacture of the product itself. It's not just about the PDUs but the people behind it. They have the right attitudes.

I would rate Eaton PDUs a ten out of ten. 

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Greg Scott
Director of IT Infrastructure at University of Tampa
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Power monitoring alerts us when there is a commercial power issue to help ensure we don't lose equipment

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution's color chassis options are a benefit. One of our new standards is that we've gone red and yellow with all power cables and PDUs, for primary and redundant. It's very easy for a technician to see that he's not unplugging both the power supplies of one unit. When everything is black and you're trying to trace it, sometimes your finger accidentally comes off the cable and you get on the wrong one. Next thing you know, you've unplugged both power supplies of a system and you have a crash... The red and yellow make it almost idiot proof."
  • "My only complaint with it is that we use Panduit wire management and Eaton's PDUs will not lock into Panduit. There are two little knobs on the back where you can just slip it in and it'll lock right into the wire management, but it does not work on Panduit. It only works on their proprietary wire management. It needs to be able to integrate with other wire managers."

What is our primary use case?

We have distributed our data center into four different locations, and two of the locations house our new Nexus 9000 network cores. That's where we are using the Eaton High Density PDUs.

How has it helped my organization?

The power monitoring capability alerts us so that if there is a commercial power issue we can ensure that we've gone to generator power, so we don't lose equipment. That means we can respond to power outages faster, and make sure that everything's working. It definitely saves us time, and it saves us money in the sense that our customers are happy.

Another benefit is that the solution’s ease of identifying outlets and it’s hot-swappable communications module make managing our environment very easy. The number of outlets definitely makes it very easy to wire your power cords.

I also expect these units have prevented downtime because we've had a lot of people working in these closets. There have been a lot of electricians and a lot of AC guys and I'm sure they've bumped into the PDUs, and nothing's come unplugged.

The high density of outlets helps us save space and reduce the number of PDU strips. In our situation, it does not have that much of an effect because we've distributed our data centers. So right now we have plenty of space. But I'm sure, as the university grows and the data center grows, it's going to allow us to use those rack units for servers and switches, as opposed to PDUs.

While the solution offers outlet switching control and detailed power-consumption measurement, those have not had any effect on our data center or power distribution operations, yet. But in the future, they will enable us to see where we're using the power and decide how to adjust that.

In terms of overall power management, now that we've partnered with Eaton High Density PDUs, we're working on getting their management solution installed. Hopefully we'll have that done by the end of October, and then we will be able to monitor all of their PDUs and UPSs. They promise me that we should be able to monitor other brands that we currently have on campus as well, although we won't have as much control over them as we do with the Eaton equipment.

The management solution will enable us to have a network engineer reboot a switch from home instead of having to come in and physically plug and unplug it. It will make things quicker. We will be able to get back up faster. And it prevents me from making a guy leave his house at 2 o'clock in the morning and drive 45 minutes to get there.

What is most valuable?

One of the best parts is the number of outlets on the PDU. It allows for excellent wire management so you don't have a spider web of power cords.

I also really like the way they lock, so that somebody can't accidentally bump a power cord and it will come out. I, personally, was working on the back of a systems rack and it was a very tight space. As I was moving, my knee bumped across a power cord, not very hard at all, and it took down half of the rack. We were right in the middle of updating some OS files and we lost two servers completely that had to be completely rebuilt.

Also, the solution's color chassis options are a benefit. One of our new standards is that we've gone red and yellow with all power cables and PDUs, for primary and redundant. It's very easy for a technician to see that he's not unplugging both the power supplies of one unit. When everything is black and you're trying to trace it, sometimes your finger accidentally comes off the cable and you get on the wrong one. Next thing you know, you've unplugged both power supplies of a system and you have a crash. I've never done that one, but I have seen it done several times. The red and yellow make it almost idiot proof.

In addition, it allows you to configure as many outlets as you want, in a length that fits your specific rack size, so you don't have to have multiple PDUs.

What needs improvement?

My only complaint with it is that we use Panduit wire management and Eaton's PDUs will not lock into Panduit. There are two little knobs on the back where you can just slip it in and it'll lock right into the wire management, but it does not work on Panduit. It only works on their proprietary wire management. It needs to be able to integrate with other wire managers.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Eaton High Density PDUs for about three months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been excellent. We have the vendor’s three-year service plan but we have not had to use it. We have not had problem number-one with these.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is also excellent. If I need to add more switches or other equipment, I can just rack them and plug them in because I have plenty of outlets.

Our usage of the Eaton PDUs is very minimal right now. It's covering about 10 percent of our needs. We only have four of these on campus, but we do plan on extending usage. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The tech support is excellent. When we first got the units, the mounting brackets they sent were not long enough and we needed to get different mounting brackets. We used their tech support then and they jumped right on it and got it taken care of. They were responsive, knowledgeable, and gave us a timely response.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used Vertiv, which was formerly called Emerson. We switched because they had beyond-horrible customer service. I was spending tens of thousands of dollars with them and I couldn't get a call back.

How was the initial setup?

They were very easy to install. I didn't have to pay anybody to install them, so we saved money there. One of my guys just screwed them in and they were done. It was extremely easy, pretty much plug-and-play.

We had to use extenders because of the wire management we have, so it took a little longer than it normally would have. It took 45 minutes per rack to do both PDUs.

It's also easy to configure it. We haven't gotten all that far on that, because we don't have their other system hooked up. Right now we're just in the web interface. We just went to the IP and it worked.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is higher, but you're also buying from a company that's been around for decades. It has the staff to support you so that when you call at 2 o'clock in the morning, somebody is going to help you out. You're not going to have to wait until 8:00 AM the next day. It's more pricey, but I definitely think it's worth the money.

The licensing seems to be very reasonable. It's not very complicated.

The only additional fee is if you want to opt in for their extended maintenance.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked at Tripp Lite and CyberPower. Both of those vendors have a quality product, but neither felt like an enterprise solution. Since this was going in our data center, I felt that Eaton, as a larger company, could support us better. The possibility of them disappearing three years from now was extremely slim.

In terms of number of outlets, I didn't really look into that because I didn't need that many. I just made sure it had enough for what I needed. Every product I looked at had enough outlets for me, although one definitely has more. I couldn't say that it has 10 percent or 15 percent more than any others, but I would definitely say it has more than anybody else's.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is to take your time and plan out your rack elevations in the beginning to make sure everything lays out the way you want it.

The biggest lesson I've learned from using this solution is to make sure you've got the right mounting brackets before you get started. We had to zip-tie the PDUs to the wire manager while we waited for the brackets to get here. We had downtime planned. We took them out of the box without looking at them ahead of time, which was my fault, and realized the brackets weren't long enough to accommodate our wire management, because we've got oversized wire management.

As for other solutions from Eaton, we're using all their UPSs now. The university has also gone to their automatic transfer switches. They just fired up their first ones a couple of weeks ago and they seem to be very happy with them. The comprehensiveness of the vendor's power management offerings is excellent.

My network engineers use this solution to monitor and do remote, so four people use it, counting myself. They do everything that has to do with that system.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.