Schneider Electric APC AP7921B Management
Many users will utilize automation to manage these PDUs, but the solution has a built-in web management interface as well. For smaller installations, this can be very handy.
One of the big changes with this generation is that the default apc/ apc username and password login is replaced by a required password change prompt. This is required due to a newer California law that we covered in our piece Why Your Favorite Default Passwords Are Changing. Once the password has been reset, one can see the main dashboard.
If you are familiar with older APC management, this PDU came with its newer management interface. Here is an example of one of these devices with the older interface:
Perhaps the biggest feature, aside from monitoring the total PDU power, is the outlet control feature. Here we can see the Outlet Control page that allows one to power cycle any or all of the C13 outlets.
The APC interface has a lot of different ways to get at similar information. For example, on outlet status, we can get to basically the same set of information without having control.
In that screenshot, one can see the scheduling feature. Here one can set a schedule to power-cycle machines. For example, if you only want an appliance to be active during standard working hours, that can be controlled here via scheduling.
Beyond monitoring the PDU power and switching the ports, the Schneider Electric/ APC software has a number of different services/ configuration options and the ability to set network, users, and protocols via the web interface.
There are other features in the software that some may want to use such as the ability to set up email alerts.
Overall, the functionality seems similar to the old APC branded interface in most areas, but there are some bits such as using HTTPS and requiring a default password change that is an improvement in this generation.
Since we use these PDUs every day, and we had one that we could get photos of before getting installed into a rack, this was a great opportunity to show what we could. If you do not need switched PDU capabilities, then the Schneider Electric AP7921B is simply the wrong PDU for you. The list price is just over $720 but we commonly buy these with discounts of 30-50%. That is still higher than non-switched PDUs. The ability to automate power cycles or just have an emergency mechanism to power cycle is extremely useful. The cost is high, especially in a world where we are accustomed to sub $20 Alexa-enabled smart plugs, but having switched PDUs can save a lot of time and remote hands costs in the data center.