HP Unveils 'Power Capping' for Servers

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-11-03 Print this article Print

Additions to HP's Thermal Logic portfolio include a new power-saving ProLiant server, new power-capping server software, and energy-efficiency services. All are designed to reduce operational costs and shrink data center carbon footprints by using a smaller power draw and less energy for air cooling.

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Hewlett-Packard on Nov. 3 unveiled a laundry list of new products and services with the "Green IT" common denominator connecting all of them.

The additions to its Thermal Logic portfolio include a new power-saving ProLiant server, new power-capping server software and energy-efficiency services. All are designed to reduce operational costs and shrink data center carbon footprints by using a smaller power draw and less energy for air cooling.

Thermal Logic is new software embedded in HP products and services that combines precise measurement and control of power and cooling in data centers with energy-efficient product and solution design.

The most important new Thermal Logic item is HP Dynamic Power Capping, which reallocates power and cooling resources in the data center by setting or "capping" the power drawn by the servers, Peter Gross, president of EYP Mission Critical Facilities, told a group of reporters here at Building 3 on the company campus.

This "power capping" eliminates the need for over-provisioning, allowing companies to reclaim trapped energy and improve their overall computing and/or storage capacity, Gross said. The power allocations are set in advance by IT managers, based on previous server history, but can be changed on the fly automatically as situations demand.

"The older data centers were always set up so that there was way more capacity than what was actually required," Gross said. "This was the way they were all built, because as an IT manager, you never wanted to get caught with the breakers tripped.

"You always had to have way more capacity than you needed in case of a disaster. And this necessarily led to a lot of wasted capacity, and thus wasted power and cooling to maintain it."

New ProLiant server uses 25 percent less power

Now, with huge advances in data center software development during the last several years, much better control of computing power and storage capacity is available.

HP has released a new blade server, the ProLiant BL460c G5, which has been redesigned for energy efficiency -- using new, cooler-running processors -- and optimized for power-constrained environments, HP Vice President of Marketing for Servers Paul Gottsegen said.

"This server uses only 44 fewer watts per blade, saving more than 700 watts per enclosure compared to its [HP] predecessor -- up to a 25 percent energy-efficiency improvement," Gottsegen said.

In addition, HP announced that its BladeSystem c7000 enclosure has been enhanced with a new HP 24000W High Efficiency Hot-Plug Power Supply. This provides higher efficiency than existing power supply units and also reduces losses at low loads by placing half the power supply in standby, Gottsegen said.

Two other key additions to the HP portfolio are Energy Efficiency Analysis, which offers a comprehensive assessment of a customer's data center using HP's proprietary return-on-investment modeling tool, and Energy Efficiency Design, which provides designs for new buildings or retro-commissioning existing facilities for compliance with worldwide environmentally accredited standards.

Energy Efficiency Analysis provides scenarios and cost benefits along with detailed plans for energy-efficiency improvements, investment payback and facility reliability, Gross said.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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