As the price of power has risen, so too has the importance of being able to measure and monitor its usage in the datacenter. Dell OpenManage provides some tools that can assist and we will discuss how they can be used. Open discussion around best practices and practical implementations are encouraged.

Technical Community - Background Reading

Chat Transcript

DELL-ScottH Welcome to today's chat on Openmanage power monitoring
DELL-ScottH Today we'll cover how to setup your Ita and Omsa environment to monitor power on your servers ..
DELL-ScottH what is required, and some findings from setting it up in our lab
DELL-ScottH First, you'll need servers that have "innstrumented" power supplies
DELL-ScottH That means some of the 9G servers, and all 10G and above servers going forward
DELL-ScottH I've been testing on 2970's, 2950's, and the M1000e blades using M600 and M605's
DELL-ToddM joined.
DELL-ScottH You also need the latest version of Omsa installed, 5.4 or above, although some was available with 5.3 .... but just use the latest as best practice.
DELL-ToddM Hello everybody
DELL-ScottH the quickest way to find out if your power supply is "instrumented" .. is to try monitoring the power attiributes in the "performance and power montiroting" tab of Ita.
DELL-ScottH .... if the selections are grayed out, then the power supplies lack the instrumentation.
DELL-ScottH You can monitor peak power, aggregrate power, and current power ... on the wattage draw, the amp draw of the supplies ....
DELL-ScottH Typically you would most interested in total wattage draw over a period of time, which is easy to understand, and easy to graph for upper management ...
DELL-ScottH for example ....
DELL-ScottH Here's some screen shots...
DELL-ToddM Does It Assistant have the abiity to provide a rollup of power usage for a group?
DELL-ScottH You can schedule the monitoring over a period of time from as little as 2 minute increments, to over hours
DELL-ScottH In Ita you can view the charts for a single server, in order to graph across multiple nodes you would have to export the data and then use Excel or your favorite charting application to see the multiple machines
DELL-ScottH The topic today came as an offshoot of a chat a couple weeks back where customers thought that taking out a single power supply from a dual power supply system would greatly reduce the power draw ....
DELL-ScottH This moorning I've been taking measurements across different servers to higlight that scenario ...
DELL-ScottH last week our first gut check was ~ 17-20% diff in one power supply to two ...
DELL-ToddM I've had a few conversations with others since that chat a couple of weeks ago about how much power the redundant power supply consumed
DELL-ScottH I've been monitoring the power usuage with Ita using different workloads (CPU generator) at 0 - 50 - and 100 % Cpu utilizations
DELL-ScottH I will blog about it tomorrow with the findings
DELL-ToddM To most - 17 to 20 % is a large amount of savings......
DELL-ScottH at first glance, it looks like that 17% is much smaller in the newer servers .
DELL-ToddM until you consider that without the second power supply you don't have nearly as high a level of availablity
DELL-ScottH we tested on the 1850 for the 17%
DELL-ScottH It's looking lower for the 2950's and 2970's and probably lower still on Energy Smart configurations
DELL-ToddM This lower number is due to increased efficency in the power supplies themselves?
DELL-ScottH And at higher Cpu loads the first check on the numbers appears that it is lower still
DELL-ScottH Yes, that is the current guess, I plan on talking to the Thermal engineering team and getting their feedback, but yes more efficient power supplies
tagamet joined.
DELL-ScottH so if the % gets <8 or so, I think the diff might not outweigh the benefit of using only a single powersupply
DELL-ScottH speak of the devil !
DELL-ScottH Hey Tagamet
tagamet =) Hola
DELL-ScottH use Action ... "recent room history" to see what we were talking about .. your ears must have been buring
DELL-ScottH we're doing some more testing on the topic you brought you brought up a few weeks back, and will have some more detailed numbers to show across different server lines
tagamet -- reading...
tagamet Awesome, thanks!
DELL-ScottH you get a chance to bring all the servers down
DELL-ScottH Todd and I were going to volunteer to make a trip out to help (and see the datacenter :-)
tagamet Ok done reading. Tks for the info/stats
DELL-ScottH Yeah, it looks like with ever increasing loads, the % diff is converging more and more
tagamet I was hoping to bring down all of our 1850s last Fri (4/18) as part of our regular downtime, but mgmt asked me to postpone until next outage
tagamet But I've performed that procedure on about 6 1850s so far, and it's worked like a charm; no more red Xs
DELL-ScottH Red == bad , so that's good, and to have green lights in the datacenter instead of amber I'm sure is a big plus ... any questions on power monitoring with Ita ? How do you guys monitor power in your datacenter ? How do the facilities people know what is working ?
tagamet I'm not doing any power monitoring with Ita so far. But I just pinged the person in our group who might be interested.
DELL-ScottH ok, keep an eye on my Systemsedge blog -- ... and I'll have some detailed numbers across 2970, 2950, 1850, blades, and Es2950
tagamet ok, will do
tagamet I haven't heard back from my colleague. He may be away from his desk. I'll point him to the transcripts if he can't join in
DELL-ScottH ok, cool, that's why we always keep talking to ourseleves even when nobody shows up :-)
DELL-ScottH and they can always start a new conversation on the site anytime
tagamet Fyi, I was able to push firmware/bios/driver updates to approx 250 Pe 1950s at our downtime Friday. Approx 8% got stuck on Rac Fw upgrades, but the rest completed fine
tagamet lol, I talk to myself regardless!
DELL-ScottH This sounds familiar .... I've had other customers have that same issues, where the last x% .... x being between 5-10 not completeing
DELL-ScottH you track it down to anything ? anything in the logs ?
DELL-ToddM I'm curious - at what level do you monitor power? the whole datacenter? row? rack? server?
DELL-ScottH And is a facilities responsibility , or It ... or do you have separate groups for those functions ?
DELL-ToddM I would think that it would be at a higher level - esp if facilities is managing it
tagamet I didn't get time to investigate further on the failed 8% systems. On the 1-2 I checked, it looked like inventory was failing, otherwise it was just a plain failure (exit code =1)
tagamet I believe our facilities/dc engineers guys are the ones who monitor power, but there's 1 person (the 1 I invited) who straddles several roles, one of them being manager/dc/ops sort of area, and Iirc he was setting standards for power levels (at the rack Pdu level)
tagamet otherwise, the main Pdus are managed by faciltiies/power engineer team, not us
DELL-ScottH sounds like what is typical in the larger customers we see , but power issues becoming bigger and bigger on the It folks
DELL-ToddM I visited a mid sized customer about 4 months ago - they have about 100 servers in their datacenter
DELL-ToddM They had plenty of physical room, but were beginning to run out of power (well they were actually at capacity)
tagamet In our Dc, we have approx 450 Dell poweredge servers
DELL-ToddM So they adpoted virtualization as a way to be able to continue to grow
tagamet actually, that is just Windows Os. Another 400 for *nix
DELL-ToddM They got more efficient with what they had - and were able to remove some older legacy servers
DELL-ToddM Very successful and now they are working on virtualizing more
DELL-ToddM So now Scott and I are even!
DELL-ScottH even at what ?
DELL-ToddM Last week he hi-jacked my virtualization chat to talk about Openmange
DELL-ToddM The tables have turned!
DELL-ScottH muhahahhahaha
Dell-RogerF Now children....
DELL-ScottH tagamet, I'm setting the line at 12 for next week, so invite a bunch of your friends to the chat and take a bet on the over
DELL-ScottH I don't mind you fixing the bet
tagamet Haha
DELL-ScottH anything else you want to talk about in these last few minutes ?
tagamet No, thank you. I'm good. I just wanted to pop my head in and listen to the discussion
DELL-ScottH ok, keep an eye on the blog, I'll also cover some of the power features on the blade and m1000e chassis
DELL-ScottH Thanks again to everyone for joining .... don't miss next week when Todd will try to pop the tires ... Todd what's the topic ?
DELL-ToddM I'm not trying to pop the tires!
DELL-ToddM We will be looking at the Hyper-v relelase candidiate
DELL-ToddM I've done some performance testing already and I am working on some quick migration stuff
DELL-ScottH cool, I'm currently monitoring the power on those machines, so put them under heavy load !
DELL-ToddM Not sure if everybody has been following the latest discussions around Quick migration and Vmotion
DELL-ToddM Check out my blog for links and analysis -
DELL-ScottH thanks again, see you all next week ... tagamet, take the over !
DELL-ToddM Here's a link to next week
DELL-ToddM chat topic -
DELL-ToddM See you next week
DELL-ScottH Thanks to all !
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Dell-Scott Hey look ! I'm coming to you from the apple store !!
Dell-Scott I walked in and said "all hail the real Pc" and held up my dell laptop !
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