Study: Rack PDU market to grow on strength of 'intelligent' units

The competitive landscape for suppliers of rack power distribution units (rack PDUs) has been changing recently, contends IMS Research.

The competitive landscape for suppliers of rack power distribution units (rack PDUs) has been changing recently, driven by a market that is forecasted to grow at 13.7 percent over the next five years, according to a new report by IMS Research. Entitled The World Market for Rack Power Distribution Units – 2012 Edition, the report divides the supplier landscape for the rack PDU market into two major types of companies: complete solution providers and rack PDU specialists.

Complete solution providers are defined as companies that offer a full range of data center infrastructure equipment; examples of such companies include APC by Schneider Electric, Eaton, HP and Tripp Lite. Combined, complete solution companies accounted for more than 50 percent of the total market in 2011.

According to IMS, the rest of the market is comprised of two main types of rack PDU specialist companies. In the first group are those whose core business is intelligent rack PDU products, such as Server Technology and Geist. The second group can be described as regional companies who focus on non-intelligent products in their home countries.

“The growth of revenues for rack PDUs is mainly driven by the growth of intelligent units," asserts IMS Research analyst Andrés Gallardo. "Intelligent units are very attractive for the supplier because, unlike the more mature non-intelligent market, [the intelligent rack PDU market] has high profit margins."

Gallardo adds, "Because of this, we have seen many companies enter the market recently such as Enlogic and Racktivity. All these new companies are headquartered in Europe, and we don’t believe it is a coincidence. Not only is Europe a more fragmented market, but we believe that Europe is generally more concerned about energy consumption than the US. ”

The market for intelligent rack PDUs is forecasted by IMS Research to grow nearly twice as fast as non-intelligent units over the next five years, because these units can monitor and track power consumption within a rack or enclosure in a data center. This capability allows data center operators to improve efficiency by improving energy consumption and properly allocating IT resources.

“We can expect to see a lot of changes in the top 10 list of vendors in this industry -- although APC by Schneider Electric, Server Technology and Emerson have been the top three vendors of rack PDUs these past years," concludes IMS's Gallardo. "Together, these companies [accounted for] 40.5 percent of total revenues in the 2011 market.”

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