My good pal Simon Quill at Bryant has been developing this line of intelligent bay mains distribution for the last few years and I bought a couple last year and have (due to the weight of work) only just got around to playing with them. Quite a lot of manufacturers offer remotely controllable power strips with either a bit of client software or a web interface to control the various circuits. Some even offer current monitoring (typically via a shunt-resistor so you get apparent current; the heating effect, in effect!) but Bryant claims to actually measure the current via a clamp-inductor and they calibrate each circuit's 16-bit ADC prior to it leaving the factory. Simon tells me each circuit can measure to 50A to an accuracy of 1mA and they sample at 1Khz so you can see any harmonic content that is being put on by UPSes etc.
Some of the other features;
- Macro start-up, close sequence. You can (for example) get o/p 2 to hold off powering up until o/p 1 has settled.
- Control of each circuit via the web interface - re-power that server?
- Inspect the current draw (and power factory) on a per circuit basis; worried that an array of disks is starting to show odd consumption; maybe a drive is about to fail?
- Look at the quality of the incoming mains - it's rarely a sine wave nowadays!