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Why would I want the ability to switch the outlet on and off on a rack PDU?

Power control at the outlet level has several advantages. The first advantage is the ability to remotely power cycle locked up IT equipment. This is extremely useful for lights out data centers or remote sites, where you don’t have someone capable close to the device. The second advantage is the ability to turn off un-used outlets. This keeps someone from plugging in un-authorized equipment without proper permissions. This improves security and prevents down time caused by overloads. The third advantage of outlet switching is the ability to control power on sequence. For example, maybe a network switch needs to boot up before a server. It also prevents startup current inrush, which occurs when multiple devices turn on at the same time. By staggering startup in a sequence with delays in between, you can safely power up more equipment on the same circuit.