Making Datacenters Application Aware
Each year, the cost of managing a datacenter goes up. To save on those escalating costs, companies are taking different approaches to datacenter design. From opening the doors and letting the cold air chill the servers to using seawater to keep the server heat down. One company, Vancouver based TSO Logic, is focused on energy efficiency at the software level.
Founded in 2010, TSO Logic’s Application Aware Power Management software allows datacenters to automatically control the power state of servers based on application demand.
The software has been managing 2,165 enterprise servers during pre-release and has saved what the company reports as more than 50 percent on server power costs. The International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that on average, 75 percent of server power isn’t even being used. TSO Logic estimates that a customer with 600 servers drawing 145 watts at idle with a PUE of 1.7 that utilizes the application aware software can potentially save between $85-90,000 in the first year if they use full power control. A company will also begin reducing costs during the first month of deployment.
The software seems similar to workload management, but TSO Logic’s software measures workload to profile and categorize servers, allowing customers to understand applications in servers and determine how many are needed to support workload.
“Most datacenters leave all of their servers on all of the time, regardless of the actual demand,” said Aaron Rallo, CEO and founder of TSO Logic. If a datacenter doesn’t manage how their active servers are used, they will always be turned on, regardless of whether or not they’re in use, which wastes power.
Globally, that translates to datacenters generating 30 billion watts of energy, and it costs $60 billion to power and cool them on an annualized basis.
TSO Logic’s software works by inspecting applications to find out whether a datacenter’s power draw is going to revenue-generating activities or to servers that aren’t doing anything. Once the wasteful areas are found, the Application Aware Power Management software can control the power state of the servers, allowing users to save power without sacrificing performance by reducing idle capacity.
The product suite includes two modes, TSO Metrics and TSO Power Control. The modes are deployed together in a single installation and on a single server. The Metrics mode allows for visibility into application workload, performance, wasted energy and potential cost savings. TSO Power Control uses the data that Metrics generates to adjust the power state of idle servers based on settings and application workload. Sometimes the servers aren’t turned off, but are instead placed in a hibernation or sleep mode, similar to what a laptop does when left alone for too long. The software also allows datacenters to target specific areas or times of day to manage their servers.
TSO Logic’s software has also been awarded the Green Enterprise IT Award from the Uptime Institute for the pre-release deployment of their solution to digital media studio Arc Productions. The TSO Logic software identified 56 percent potential server energy savings at the studio’s datacenter, which houses more than 600 servers. Previous winners of the award include XtremIO, Cisco, Facebook and Verizon.