– Mark Davidson, sustainability officer with JouleX (www.joulex.net), says:
Due to the Internet and information age explosion in the mid 1990s, there has been a rapid expansion of data centers. To address the explosive growth of applications and IT services, more and more data centers have been built, expanded, and utilized during the last decade and a half. With this growth in data centers, energy consumption has also soared to unheard of levels—and shows no signs of slowing.
According to The White House Office of Management and Budget: “The need for backup power supplies, environmental controls (air conditioning, fire suppression, etc.) and special security devices means that data centers can consume 200 times as much electricity as standard office spaces.”
Recent research from the Uptime Institute indicates more than a third (36 percent) of data center facilities will run out of space, power, or cooling, or all the above in 2011 or 2012. Of those that will run out of one or more data center lifelines, 40 percent plan to build a new data center, 62 percent plan to consolidate servers, and 29 percent plan to lease collocation space.
In order to meet these growing demands for more computing power, data center and IT managers are turning to consolidation, virtualization, and hardware upgrades. This evolution in the industry is also highlighting the need to measure energy use and effectiveness.
To Date, Energy Measurement Has Been Expensive and Risky
While the need for accurate energy measurement has long been acknowledged by industry leaders, the tools available have been both costly and inadequate. Energy assessments and measurement of electrical loads have typically been measured through traditional power meters, measuring actual plug loads. The process of deploying meters and measuring individual devices is very time-consuming and expensive. This can even be an extremely risky endeavor since many meters have to be in-line to the devices they are monitoring and require infrastructure to be taken offline for installation.
Data centers have been unable to measure energy reduction and carbon emissions reductions related to data center consolidation, virtualization and capital equipment upgrade projects because of the inability to realistically measure energy on individual assets in an efficient way. With no way for data centers to measure and report the effectiveness of these projects, their success can only be approximated.
Adhere to Best Practices When Deploying Energy Management Solutions
When implementing any energy management solution, data center and IT managers should adhere to a number of best practices in order to successfully address the challenges they face today:
- No impact to the current network configuration
- Fast and inexpensive deployment
- Automated device discovery
- Device agnostic – must work with every device in the data center, including legacy equipment
- Comprehensive visibility by data center, row, rack, slot, virtual machine, or physical device
- Fully customizable reporting on energy consumption, utilization, costs, savings and carbon emissions by device, location, cost center, division and time of day
- Quick time to benefit
- Three to six month ROI
- Assist data center consolidation, virtualization, and cloud projects
- Assist data center energy capacity planning
- Support corporate sustainability initiatives for energy and carbon reduction
- Reduce energy consumption and costs in the data center, while meeting Service Level Agreements (SLA), without impeding performance
JouleX Energy Manager (JEM) for Data Centers is a solution designed to these best- practices specifications.
An Agentless Approach Offers Quicker Time to Benefit, Shorter Deployments and Less Hassles
By using a network-based approach, JEM for Data Centers does not require installation of device-side software, network re-configuration, or hardware meters. This means quicker time-to-benefit, significantly lower deployment time, and no hassles with maintenance, configuration, or patches.
JEM for Data Centers leverages standard network protocols to retrieve and control energy, acting as a Virtual Smart Meter. Data center and IT managers can now query energy information without the need for physical instrumentation from:
- Legacy data center IT assets such as servers, network appliances, switches, and routers; or
- Facilities devices such as power distribution units (PDUs), computer room air conditioning (CRAC) units, and more.
JEM for Data Centers conducts the Virtual Smart Metering through an agentless discovery of all IT and facilities assets connected to the network. Through this discovery process, JouleX is able to utilize asset information, system utilization, and performance details to dynamically calculate energy consumption on a per-device basis. This agentless process:
- Minimizes deployment costs (human resources, service disruption, change management)
- Decreases capital costs (physical metering)
- Reduces time to value from weeks/months to hours/days
Other key benefits include:
- Powerful analytics help quantify, justify, and prioritize energy savings and carbon reduction savings of data center consolidation, virtualization, server retirement, equipment refresh/upgrade projects.
- Alerting capabilities set thresholds to signal for power, utilization, and temperature conditions.
- A policy engine provides advanced control capabilities such as Power Capping servers (regulating the amount of energy drawn by a server) and managing power profiles to optimize performance and energy.
- An extensible platform manages, analyzes, and controls energy from any distributed office device or system connected to the network—including those where software agents cannot be installed, such as virtual servers, virtual desktops, desktop monitors, VoIP phones, and printers.
Join History in the Making as a Newly Empowered Data Center Professional
Energy is now the fastest growing expense in the data center so it only makes sense for data center operators to start monitoring and measuring their energy utilization and consumption in order to optimize energy usage, drive efficiency and reduce costs. However, there’s often a disconnect between what Accounting and Operations see as priorities when it comes to budget planning.
JouleX is empowering data center professionals by putting a previously unheard of amount of reporting and control at their fingertips. For the first time in history, IT has the ability to quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively measure and report actual energy and emissions reductions of their virtualization, consolidation, and infrastructure upgrades. The agentless approach puts data centers on the quickest path to energy transparency and efficiency with little impact to IT or facilities operational staff or service levels. It offers the most direct route to cost-savings and tangible ROI—helping move energy management up to the top of a CFO’s priority list.