Virtualization Technology News and Information
Track, Monitor and Measure Data Center Power Consumption and Cost with Avocent DSView 3 Power Manager
Avocent Corporation (Nasdaq: AVCT) is introducing new power management software that enables users to monitor and measure the power consumption and energy usage of IT equipment in data centers in real time. DSView 3 Power Manager is an add-on plug-in to Avocents DSView® 3 management software installed in thousands of data centers worldwide that provides secure, centralized management for physical and virtual IT assets. DSView 3 Power Manager adds the ability to gather and aggregate power information, whether that be a power distribution unit, rack, or row of racks, to help data center managers improve operating efficiencies, reduce outages, and reduce overall energy consumption costs.

Customers are often limited in what energy consumption they can measure, which effectively makes these costs considered 'uncontrollable'. As we broaden our infrastructure management footprint in the data center we aim to bring greater granularity and control over power and cooling problems, allowing more accurate planning of IT infrastructure and budgets, said Dave Perry, executive vice president and general manager of the Management Systems Business Unit at Avocent.

A recent IDC study found that the expense to power and cool the worldwide installed base of servers will grow to $44.5 billion, equivalent to 70 percent of new server spending, by 2010. Last year, an EPA study showed that in 2006, 50 percent of total data center energy consumption could be attributed to IT equipment, and about half of that to servers. Energy consumption in the data center represents a rising operational cost, but enterprises need to better understand their power usage to be more efficient, better allocate power to ensure availability, accurately budget for power costs and charge power usage to individual departments.

Avocents new DSView 3 Power Manager is uniquely able to provide energy consumption level data for a consolidated view of energy use within the data center. It aggregates electrical usage by kilowatt (kW) and converts it into kilowatt hours (kWh) how companies are charged for electricity. Through the softwares cost calculator, users can enter their utility charges to calculate power costs making it possible for IT departments to monitor and chargeback power usage costs. Empowering IT managers with greater knowledge about how their environments are using power enables them to make smarter decisions by helping to:

  • Lower risk of capacity planning Plan electrical infrastructure of new data centers based on historical power usage data from the current data center, eliminating the guesswork that leads to overbuilding and wasting power
  • Reduce unscheduled downtime Preemptive notification of power and environmental issues can eliminate the chance of overburdening a circuit and creating an outage that takes business-critical equipment offline
  • Manage power budgets Set power usage thresholds and transfer certain non-critical activities to non-peak times of day when power costs are lower
  • Improve virtualization efficiency Map server energy consumption with applications to help identify virtualization candidates especially as idle servers today draw too much power.

Customers understand total energy consumption because they receive a utility bill each month. But they express frustration about rising utility costs and the lack of tools to help manage those costs. We now provide a means for our customers to make smarter decisions about their power and cooling challenges. They can anticipate savings before they implement a change in their data centers, and they can actually track and report those savings. Avocent will continue to develop strategic power management solutions to help customers meet future challenges as the energy costs continues to spiral, said Perry.

The Avocent DSView 3 Power Manager offers a number of reporting and alarm features to further help IT managers track power consumption, including:

  • Consumption Reports: track power and energy consumption for user-defined time periods for data centers, power source busses, racks
  • Trend Reports: tracks power consumption over time and aggregates data for customized usage reports
  • Thresholds: set warning and critical level thresholds with customizable actions for when thresholds are exceeded
  • Alarms: customizable alarms provide preemptive notification when thresholds are approached

The DSView 3 Power Manager integrates with sensor hubs from Uptime Devices to provide environmental monitoring and reporting for temperature, humidity, airflow and water levels. Used in conjunction with Avocent intelligent power distribution units (PDUs), it also provides outlet control, enabling IT managers to turn off/on, lock/unlock and group outlets for drilled-down power control of individual outlets. The DSView 3 Power Manager expands the existing power monitoring and control features enabled in DSView 3 software using the MergePoint Service Processor Managers.

The DSView 3 Power Manager is compatible with the latest revision of Avocent DSView 3 software and both will be available in July. The new revision of DSView 3 software, version 3.6, will feature improved functionality and ease of use with simpler deployment and maintenance, more thorough device support, and enhanced VMware support for combined access and control of both virtual and physical servers.

Published Monday, April 28, 2008 8:03 AM by David Marshall
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