Baytech RPC-3 Deal: Remote Switched 8-Port PDU under $50 – Windows App

Posted April 14, 2014 by Patrick Kennedy in Client Tips
BayTech PDU Shot

Recently we have been investigating remotely switched PDUs for the lab. Several of the items in the lab right now do not have IPMI and remote power control. As a result, it is somewhat difficult to complete simple tasks like power cycling the units remotely. We recently highlighted a deal in the forums for a Baytech RPC-3 8-port Ethernet based PDU which are selling for under $50 on ebay. These are extremely inexpensive selling for under $50 each in many cases.

The Baytech RPC-3 is an older unit, and a web interface is not present. On the other hand there is a stock Telnet/ SSH and serial interface where one can see current power consumption and remotely power cycle the power outlets. This works well except that it does require a shell login and knowing the right commands:

BayTech PDU Power Control Switch - Telnet

BayTech PDU Power Control Switch – Telnet

One fourm member, BThunderW made a great control application for Windows to give these units a graphical control interface.

BayTech PDU Power Control Switch

BayTech PDU Power Control Switch

Overall this is not the most elegant solution, but is highly practical. One of the benefits of this is that the RPC-3 is allegedly a true RMS (root mean squared) power meter. It does not meter by port but does meter across ports. This is useful even for simply testing how much power will be used for a set of equipment prior to datacenter installation. True RMS is generally considered to be superior for this type of measurement versus simple averaging meters that can be found in devices like $20 Kill-a-Watt devices.

This is certainly not as fancy as some of the newer units, but for under $50 it is one of the least expensive options out there.

About the Author

Patrick Kennedy

Patrick has been running ServeTheHome since 2009 and covers a wide variety of home and small business IT topics. For his day job, Patrick is a management consultant focused in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about basic server building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.


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