Reality Check: Server Insights
Get HP server news, technology trends, and product information to stay up to date with what is happening in the server world.

Lower energy costs and safeguard your HP ProLiant servers from catastrophic events

By Mark Lackey,

Product Manager, Insight Control power management

HP is introducing Data Center Power Control, the newest power management feature of Insight Control.  I want to share a cool story about how this product was invented after a nearly catastrophic event at an HP site.  We used our experience to innovate and make sure your company doesn’t go through a similar experience. 

Last summer, a water chiller failed in the computer room at an HP site.  As a result, our engineers had to run around manually turning off the systems before they crashed.  We were fortunate because the right people were in place to do this as it happened, even though it was a manual process.  That got our engineers thinking… if only there were a way to set pre-defined policies to automatically shutdown servers or lower the power state during catastrophic events.  Today that’s a reality because of HP Data Center Power Control.  In a nutshell, you set the guidelines in advance so that you can extend the ride-through time for mission critical apps by reducing power usage by non-critical workloads when there’s a failure.

Another important perk is the ability to lower your energy bill by taking control of your power usage during peak times.  Imagine the utility company contacts you and says you need to shed 50 KWh of power today from 3 – 6 PM.  That’s no problem with HP Data Center Power Control.  You can also drop power usage during peak or coincident peak times.  This helps you drive your infrastructure into a more efficient operating range.  It’s also good for scheduled maintenance.  At the given maintenance time, you can shed power to make sure certain servers are powered down.  The best part is that it’s as easy as pressing a button.

What are your thoughts on Data Center Power Control?  Has your company had a catastrophic failure or needed to shed power quickly where this capability would have been useful?

Gaining a 4D view of your data center

By Brandon Fears

Product Manager, HP Data Center Environmental Edge


Part of the focus of the HP Data Center Smart Grid is not only monitoring / managing power at the IT level, but also visualizing and optimizing the power and cooling infrastructure. This is where the newest version of the HP Data Center Environmental Edge solution is key to achieving the insight needed to measure and understand current energy usage and historical trends.  The solution helps both IT and facility managers understand how their cooling infrastructure is operating and visually show where they have issues to be addressed.

As the team began the development on the Environmental Edge Program, we conducted customer visits and formal market research to better understand how customers monitor and optimize their data centers.  The one item that kept coming to the top was the lack of knowledge on how much power in KWh was consumed in a day, week or a month.  The most common answers were, “Maybe if I look at our electrical bill”, or “I don’t know because the data center is part of the office and facility managers pay the bill”.  Therefore we began working on the second half of the Environmental Edge solution: power visualization. 

In the view below, as the customer scrolls over their data center layout, they can see real time results from the energy base stations to understand power, and environmental base stations to get information on cooling at the rack level.

Customers can also provide drill down on an energy meter and get more robust information, amps per phase, voltage per phase, KWh, and power factor. 

Additionally, the solution can show power usage for the past 18 months, and provide several different reports.  This is just part of the new power visualization capabilities.  Customers can also opt to have real-time PUE, see power consumption at the rack level with our branch circuit monitoring solution (BCMS).  The goal of our solution is to help customers use their infrastructure more efficiently and help match the output to the needs of IT. 


HP VMworld session: Conquering Costs and Complexity in a Virtualized Environment

I attended a thought leadership session at Vmworld today,  Conquering Costs and Complexity in a Virtualized Environment”. In 1996, there were roughly 6 million servers. In 2009, that number has increased to nearly 32 million servers. In the presentation link below, HP & IDC outline graphs of expenses and the rise in costs which are baffling. What is the largest cost? People. Next? Power & cooling. A big point brought up at the session was, ‘who heard of power capping from the local utility center 10 years ago’? Well, no one. But with city infrastructures being tapped too hard, it had to happen. Draw these lines for expenses for management, power and cooling and utility costs on a graph looking five years out - it will be unmanageable. A few great comments that came out of the meeting: “Find that real estate management person who’s paying the power bill and that one will help you make the argument for virtualization and justify consolidation.”  and “5 ‘9s’?  no. need all ‘9s’. 100% availability. Web commerce doesn’t wait an hour.”

Virtualization is helping but needs to attack the growing costs and ongoing management of the datacenter, flipping the expense of operation to expense on innovation. The session leaders spoke of the data center as a system relationships & new innovations and management tools need a holistic approach.

From Mark Linesch, the HP session leader:

Virtualization has sparked an overall industry discussion on the changing face of the datacenter. It has helped increase utilization rates and been a major disruptor to traditional data center operations. With the number of virtual machines exploding however, virtualization has also introduced new challenges and opportunities on the transformational journey to conquer costs and complexity and move toward a shared and service-oriented data center environment.  


Our session at VMworld 2009 is all about tackling the issues AFTER those first early successes have been achieved. Armed with the latest research from Michelle Bailey at IDC, we discuss the facts about virtual sprawl and the need to rethink IT management and processes. 

For example, many organizations are beginning to use vMotion-type capabilities in their production environments. As part of our session, we discuss how customers can further lower costs and dramatically increase their ROI from VMware with automation tools and experience. We also tackle energy as IT managers re-architect the datacenter and implement a broad range of solutions to fit more servers into existing power and space constraints. It still amazes me that today’s G6 ProLiant servers from HP can increase  performance by up to 10x while reducing power consumption by 10x – saving costs and lowering energy consumption. But this is just the beginning of a comprehensive strategy that is needed to lower costs and reclaim power within existing data center environments.

Here are some take-aways from the session:

       Download our whitepapers:

       Orchestration for the Business-Driven Data Center 

       Realizing TCO Savings with HP BladeSystem Virtual  Connect Flex-10 Technology, IDC Whitepaper

       Navy Marine Corps Intranet case study:

Here are the slides from HP & IDC presented at the session.

Presenting today were:
Mark Linesch Vice President, Strategy and Portfolio Management, Enterprise Servers and Networking
Rob Taylor Vice President, Data Center Services, Infrastructure Services, EDS an HP company
Michelle Bailey Research Vice President, Enterprise Platforms and Datacenter Trends

We would look forward to any feedback and thoughts on this topic.

HP announcements at VMworld - Insight Control for vCenter and VDI architecture for VMware View

Tuesday brought the opening sessions for VMware & HP, first out of the gates in the morning at VMworld. The buzz at the Moscone Center was strong all day, the HP booth humming high.

Here are the HP announcement highlights from the morning Super Sessions:

Insight Control suite for VMware vCenter:

The first product of its kind, HP Insight Control suite for VMware vCenter delivers powerful HP hardware management capabilities directly into the vCenter management console.  This exciting new product enables virtualization administrators to remediate both Virtual guest and host issues directly from the vCenter console.

Virtual desktop infrastructure:

Virtual desktop infrastructure is a server-based computing model that gives users a PC desktop experience, while securing all applications, management and processing in the data center. The HP Virtual Desktop Reference Architecture for VMware View specifically addresses the performance bottlenecks and management complexities of other offerings. Customers can test the solution in select HP solution centers worldwide.

We will post the videos from this morning once they are published.

Estimating power consumption?

Need to estimate power consumption and proper selection of components? Check out the HP Power Advisor. Other features are also provided including a condensed bill of materials, a cost of owner ship calculator, and a power report.

Reduce power consumption with ProLiant right-size power supplies. In HP’s latest generation of ProLiant servers, power is both critical and flexible. With the new HP Power Advisor you can measure power usage as you configure servers and racks in a downloadable tool.

The tool is so easy to use, drag & drop with an intuitive interface and configure away.



Just released a new update: Now including the NEW ProLiant SL6000 system!

New features will be released soon including  the addition of the HP BladeSystem c3000 and c7000. Follow the updates and other news on Twitter, @hppoweradvisor.

Check out the HP Power Advisor now.

Have you used this tool? Tell us your story. What are you seeking in a power advisory tool that we are currently not providing?


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About the Author(s)
  • I am part of the embedded software management team doing UEFI, HP RESTful API & Scripting tools (STK, PowerShell, HP RESTful Interface Tool), etc
  • I am part of ISS Product Marketing, currently managing couple of dual processor ProLiant servers.
  • More than 25 years in the IT industry developing and managing marketing programs. Focused in emerging technologies like Virtualization, cloud and big data.
  • Delisa Johnson currently leads successful, corporate events for HP Servers and is established as the go-to person for business unit communications regarding launches, executive meetings, wins and business updates.
  • I am a member of the Enterprise Group Global Marketing team blogging on topics of interest for HP Servers. Check out blog posts on all four Server blog sites-Reality Check, The Eye on Blades, Mission Critical Computing and Hyperscale Computing- for exciting news on the future of compute.
  • I work within EMEA HP Servers Central Team as a launch manager for new products and general communications manager for EMEA HP Server specific information. I also tweet @ServerSavvyElla
  • HP Servers, Converged Infrastructure, Converged Systems and ExpertOne
  • WW responsibility for development of ROI and TCO tools for the entire ISS portfolio. Technical expertise with a financial spin to help IT show the business value of their projects.
  • I am a member of the HP BladeSystem Portfolio Marketing team, so my posts will focus on all things blades and blade infrastructure. Enjoy!
  • Lead architect for Intelligent Provisioning and related HP products.
  • Luke Oda is a member of the HP's BCS Marketing team. With a primary focus on marketing programs that support HP's BCS portfolio. His interests include all things mission-critical and the continuing innovation that HP demonstrates across the globe.
  • I work in the HP Servers marketing group, managing a marketing team responsible for marketing solutions for enterprise customers who run mission-critical workloads and depend on HP to keep their business continuously running.
  • Global Marketing Manager with 15 years experience in the high-tech industry.
  • I am a Senior Manager managing external content & social media for HP Servers Awareness. Stay tuned for topics on Mission Critical Solutions, Core Enterprise & SMB Solutions, Next Gen Workload Solutions, Big Data & HPC, Cloudline and HPS Options! Follow me @RubyDatHP
  • I am a member of the HP Servers Product Marketing Group blogging on topics of interest for HP Server Options and Smart Storage products.
  • Working with HP BladeSystem.
  • HP Servers, Global Product Marketing
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