Power management company 1E has released a server version of its NightWatchman software, previously only available for PCs. The company claims that it’s the first solution to address the $25bn of potential savings in data centres globally.
NightWatchman Server Edition provides efficiency and power reporting so that decisions such as decommissioning wasteful servers are simpler. The focus is more on business value than just availability and performance. Even if servers are productive, energy savings can be enhanced with 1E’s ‘Drowsy Server’ technology, which dynamically minimises energy consumption when no ‘Useful Work’ is being performed, saving an average of 12% in energy costs.
Useful Work Analysis is part of the software’s capability. It reports how much power is used for business applications and how much is being used on idle and non-productive processes. With the information server managers can make better decisions on decommissioning, consolidation, virtualisation and saving energy.
The software provides dashboards and reports that monitor energy consumption, efficiency, cost and CO2 emissions across all servers or within a department or location, application, etc.
The product is available immediately and apparently CSC is carrying out a study to measure the benefits. If a major IT services companies like CSC adopts the software as part of its green strategy then it could quickly find a wide user base.
At the same time as launching the product, 1E also released the findings from a survey of server managers, commissioned in association with the US organisation Alliance to Save Energy. Findings included:
- 15% or more servers are not doing anything useful according to 72% of server managers
- 83% admitted that they do not have an adequate grasp of server utilisation
- 72% of server managers admitted that they rely on CPU utilisation as their measure of server efficiency, although the CPU may not be providing any business value
- 63% rely on manual checks, trial and error or wait until something is broken to find unused servers
- 65% have virtualised unused servers and almost a third said that they are actively seeking a solution to virtual server sprawl
- 75% admit that their company’s need for high levels of IT service internally get in the way of measuring and improving server efficiency.
All that makes frightening reading (two thirds have virtualised unused servers!). It shows just how much room there is for power efficiency improvement in the data centre. There’s a long way to go yet to minimise power use, with lots of potential routes to take, but NightWatchman is another weapon in the energy-saving armoury.