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Power Assure CTO Outlines Best Practices for Data Center Power Optimization

December 14, 2010 by  

Website Hosting ToolboxSanta Clara, CA – Most CIOs and facilities managers today have only a high-level view of power consumption and energy efficiency in the data center.  That is all about to change, however, according to Gartner, which predicts that “power and cooling issues in servers, networking and storage devices will increase during the next five years. It will become the single-biggest issue in data center topology through 2014.”*

“A considerable amount of power continues to be wasted in data centers, mostly by underutilized servers, and this growing demand threatens to exceed the total power available in many data centers, forcing costly expansion or infrastructure upgrades,” said Clemens Pfeiffer, founder and CTO of Power Assure.  “For these reasons, CIOs and facility managers are now paying very close attention to power consumption throughout their data centers.”


Pfeiffer asserts that there are three levels of best practices for monitoring and managing power utilization in the data center.  These include:

Establishing a Baseline

Any experienced manager will tell you that you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Get started on the right track with the first step:  baseline measurements of power consumption end-to-end in the data center.   Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solutions support both the industry standard and popular proprietary protocols used to measure power consumption, so no special agents to install or no extra wires to run to measure power at the building, circuit and device-level.  Some DCIM solutions also measure environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity and airflow, throughout the data center.  The better DCIM solutions make the implementation even easier with advanced capabilities like auto-discovery, capacity planning, building energy management system integration, sophisticated dashboards, comprehensive reporting, and more.

Improving Power Efficiency
The next prudent practice is to build on the baseline and the other key performance indicators (KPIs) now readily available from DCIM solutions to begin improving power efficiency, an effort that includes performing systematic capacity and performance planning using available metrics, benchmarks and what-if analyses.

The Energy Proportional Data Center

Data center optimization best practices dynamically match server capacity with demand to create an energy proportional data center, in which facility and IT utilization and efficiencies are in synch.  In effect, optimization changes the mode of operating servers from “always on” to “on demand” without adversely impacting on performance.  The change results in a typical savings of 50% or more in power consumption based on the improvement in overall server utilization.

Pfeiffer explained, “Managing power more effectively will reduce data center costs and extend its life.  Using a DCIM solution, preferably with dynamic data center optimization capabilities to achieve the best results, will empower IT and facility managers with the actionable information needed to make optimal choices about equipment, its placement and its use.”

*Gartner, “Eight Critical Forces Will Shape Enterprise Data Center Strategies,” March 9, 2010. Author:  Rakesh Kumar

About Power Assure
Power Assure is a leading developer of Dynamic Data Center Optimization software for large enterprises, government agencies, and managed service providers. Power Assure’s solutions provide visibility, intelligence, and automation to help CIOs, IT directors, and facilities managers optimize capacity, service levels, and power consumption within and across data centers. Headquartered in Santa Clara, CA, the company is privately held with funding from ABB, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Good Energies, Point Judith Capital, and a grant from the Department of Energy. Power Assure partners include Dell, IBM, Raritan, and VMware. For more information, visit www.powerassure.com

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