I know a lot of you think technology marketing is full of crap <<or insert your own colorful descriptor>>. I know we can sound that way. It's one of my pet-peeves too.
I also know that some of you may hear a term like "Thermal Logic" and your "marketing-crap' sirens start to go off. So today I wanted to take a moment to explain in plain English the concept of Thermal Logic technology and to show you that it's not a make-believe idea, but a practical approach that HP is taking to address your bigger power and cooling issues in the data center.
It's a very simple idea really. Make the data denter more energy efficient, simply by making it more intelligent.
That's it. No green-ovation, grandious claims or a high brow vision, just a statement of how the power and cooling problem must, and will be addressed by HP.
Here's where that came from. Back in 2003-2006 (even earlier in the mind of Chandrakan Patel in HP Labs), when a lot of our current power and cooling technology was being created in the lab, intelligence was a common theme. Whether it was smarter fans, smarter power supplies, smarter drives, smarter CRACs, smarter reporting and metering, or smarter whatever; putting intelligence behind the problem of power usage came up again and again.
We described the problem as "you can't manage what you can't measure". If every component, system and data center understands its need for energy as well as the total supply of energy, it could take action to conserve every watt of power and every gram of cold air. What we find is that in most cases, every component, system and data center allocates more energy that what it really needs and often wastes energy that isn't being used to do effective work.
Now, back to today.
Every, I repeat EVERY, technology vendor in the world today is building systems with more efficient parts. Big deal. This is basic 'bread and water' today and quite honestly, if your vendor isn't doing everything they can to squeeze every watt out of the basic components, you need to look elsewhere. HP, IBM and Dell all have access to the latest chips, drives, DIMMs, etc. I imagine Cisco is even figuring out who to call these days.
Every vendor is also able to show power savings with virtual machines. Big deal. Taking applications off of a bunch of out dated power hog servers and putting them on fewer, more efficient ones saves a bunch of energy. Again, is there a vendor that can't do that too?
99% of the claims that vendors make to differentiate themselves and claim "power efficiency" superiority are based on these 2 concepts: the lastest systems with the latest, most efficient components versus last years' model and comparisons based on using virtual machines. Even worse, it's done with a straight face and backed up with claims with based on stacked benchmarks comparing today's lab queen design versus the last generation just isn't helpful to anyone.
The data center power problem is so much bigger than a benchmark at any one point in time. Power consumption is happening every second of every day over years. I know that's a lot of variables to consider: tempurature, humidity, workload, usage and growth. That's why intelligence is so darn important. It's a big, complex problem. I only wish I had a magic benchmark with a magic number that could prove my claim definitively in every circumstance. It can't. Nor can anyone else.
Only HP, I repeat ONLY HP, is inventing energy-aware components, systems and data centers. And yes, we call it Thermal Logic technology. Last week, the ProLiant team announced their next generation servers and talked a lot about the concept of a 'sea of sensors'. Those sensors are the starting point to collect the data need.
Here's another example to make this real for you: Dynamic Power Capping. I shared with you in the past a demonstration. Now that you're getting our unique point of view, I'd like to share with you the technology details behind it in this new whitepaper "HP Power Capping and HP Dynamic Power Capping for ProLiant servers"
Read this and you'll quickly see that Thermal Logic isn't IT marketing crap. It's a real answer to the real challenges every datacenter in the world is facing - the rising demand and cost for power and cooling.
Stacey Higginbotham with Giga Omni Media was in our neck of the woods last week to take a guided tour of the HP Performance Optimized Datacenter (POD) with Wade Vinson. If there's one thing you take away, it's just how much passion we have for what we do around here.
I remember back in 2006 when Wade was just the lowly "Fan Man" behind the Active Cool fans in our BladeSystem. Now it seems I have to show more respect to the "PODFather".