So I’d like to pose a couple of questions: what’s the relationship between real-time power data and capacity planning? And how can this relationship potentially save your data center millions of dollars?
Technically, what I’m referring to here is the use of real time (live) power data vs. faceplate or derated estimates as you do power monitoring and management.
Strategically, what I’m referring to is the use of Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) to fill out your racks and optimize capacity planning based on facts, not guesswork, about the power actually being used on your floor.
Gary Bunyan, a Global DCIM Solutions Specialist at iTRACS®, recommends thinking about it this way – don’t focus on power, focus on capacity planning and cost containment. How to save your company millions by finding new ways to do more with less. How to increase rack densities within your existing footprint so you can expand capacity without having to build new.
Gary says it’s all about accessing and using real-time power readings that help you make vital decisions about your physical infrastructure – decisions based on knowledge (what you know is happening) vs. guestimates (what you think may be happening) …
In Gary’s monthly DCIM “Notes from the Road” column for Data Center Knowledge, he offers a pretty cool scenario:
“Let’s say one of your business clients has a new initiative and they come to you with a request for more capacity – but your hands are tied, you cannot bring additional power into your facility. You must add the capacity within your existing footprint. This means finding racks with available space and power and then filling them with more servers, safely, without putting power or cooling at risk. Because if you over-commission, the whole environment could come down.
Here’s how real-time data can help you meet the challenge:
Confirming maximum number of servers per rack
(1) You establish a threshold of <45% of available power capacity per rack so full redundancy is assured.
(2) FINDING THE RIGHT RACKS: Using live power readings from Intel® Data Center Manager, you determine current power utilization within your existing racks and confirm the remaining power available to you. It turns out you have more racks with ‘stranded’ (available) power than you thought.
(3) CONFIRMING THE RIGHT SERVERS FOR THOSE RACKS: Using hardware profiling, you confirm which server models currently on your floor deliver the best energy efficiency based on live power readings (their actual performance) – these are the models you’ll want to replicate.
(4) You correlate information about both – the racks that you KNOW have available power based on live data, and the servers that you KNOW offer the highest work-per-watt, also based on live data.
(5) What you confirm is this –
you can deploy MANY MORE servers in these racks than you originally thought possible.
While the manufacturer’s faceplate values indicate only 3 servers per rack, and derated values imply you could maybe increase that to 5 – Intel’s real-time data confirms that you can put 8 servers into each rack. Since the servers are drawing less power than you thought, the racks are safe to fill without exceeding the <45% power threshold.
You now have a clear plan of attack.”
Continue reading part two, about deploying your new servers based on live data, not guesswork.