Qlusters married power management with open-source data center management on Nov. 20 when it added new power management plug-ins to its openQRM provisioning and data center management tool.
The new plug-ins specifically deliver automated power management for Dell DRAC, HP ILO and Intel IPMI enabled servers. They allow users to automatically turn the power off on servers that are not in use.
"We had users in data centers that wanted to put servers in a high availability pool, but didnt want to power them on until they were needed," said Qlusters Chief Technology Officer William Hurley, in Austin, Texas.
"We PXE boot servers into management, they go into a high-availability pool, and when they are not in use we can de-provision them. Now users can create a policy that automates that process," he said.
The openQRM framework was architected to allow a range of functions to be plugged into it, allowing those functions to be integrated. To date openQRM provides provisioning, monitoring and server virtualization.
With the new plug-ins, openQRMs monitoring function can see which servers are under-utilized, then the provisioning function can put those servers not in use into a high-availability pool. Then the policy engine can use the plug-ins to power those servers off.
"When the policy says go get me a new server, it can power one on and then provision it," Hurley said.
With power consumption such a huge issue for many data centers, Hurley believes the new plug-ins can help reduce operational costs significantly—especially for large data centers.
"Even 20 servers can make a difference in power consumption. In a large data center you may have 100 servers in a high-availability pool. Powering those off makes a big difference," he said.
"[Pacific Gas & Electric] gives you an incentive to virtualize your data center. When the electric company is there, thats a clear sign of how critical an issue thats becoming," Hurley added.
Qlusters intends to extend the automated power management capability to other environments such as Avocent. More plug-ins are due early in 2007, Hurley said.
The Dell, HP and Intel plug-ins can be downloaded here.