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Power Assure Optimizes Data Center Power

Power Assure has introduced Dynamic Power Optimization, software that allows  IT administrators to reduce data center power consumption by more than half without reducing service levels. This is achieved through balancing server capacity, performance and availability. Dynamic Power Optimization includes a virtualization manager for VMware, Citrix, Xen and PowerVM. In addition, the company announced Dynamic Power Management 3.5, which provides predictive analysis and includes product details for more than 10,000 items from more than 500 vendors. The software collects information in real time on both physical and virtual appliances, while a Power Assure analytic engine calculates energy demand.

The Office of Management and Budget and the White House have challenged
all federal agencies to reduce power consumption by 30 percent in their
data centers. NASA has about 100 in ten facilities. "You can't manage what you can't measure," says Chris Kemp, NASA's chief technology officer for IT. "I want to be on the list of agencies that can quantifiably demonstrate they've done that." But NASA needs to find out how much power it's using in the first place. "NASA operates every piece of infrastructure ever sold," he says. "If it exists, it's in one of our data centers. How do we collect all that data and do anything meaningful?"

The Power Assure products collect data feeds from his hardware--including writing an interface if there isn't one--and aggregate it on one dashboard. The agency will implement metering and monitoring in its data centers in the first half of 2011, and when that's complete, he will have visibility across all data centers on an agency level.

The software lets IT administrators dynamically adjust capacity through run books, which include automated adjustments as well as processes performed manually or via approval. After adjustments are made, the software verifies the new power levels and the whole process begins again.

This sort of power-aware workload orchestration is an essential step in producing an infrastructure that makes best use of resources and minimizes power consumption, says Nik Simpson, senior research analyst at The Burton Group. The Power Assure product could help users decrease their energy bill while simultaneously decreasing the likelihood of downtime, agrees Katie Broderick, senior research analyst for servers and data centers at IDC. It's smart of Power Assure not to reinvent the wheel in terms of monitoring data center equipment, instead using what data center managers already have in place, Broderick adds.

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