Steps for Implementing Software-Defined Power in Enterprise Data Centers

Software-Defined Power is an emerging solution to application-level reliability issues being caused by power problems.  Software-Defined Power, like the broader Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), is about creating a layer of abstraction that isolates the application from local power dependencies. I believe Software-Defined Power requires IT to continuously match resources with application demand and to shift an application to the data center with the most reliable and cost efficient power source at any given time within the limits of application service level guarantees.

Software-Defined Power works in enterprise data centers by following the five implementation stages shown below:

1.     Get a baseline of each application, its utilization and the associated power consumption and backup/disaster recovery capacity.  Gain real-time insight into power consumption and IT utilization;

2.     Analyze data center efficiency using the baseline information and real time measurements to identify inefficient or underutilized IT equipment;

3.     Automate dynamic application workload movements across multiple data centers and adjust associated facility infrastructure dynamically using existing standard operating procedures;

4.     Make dynamic workload management and server capacity adjustments a matter of routine to not only react on catastrophic events but also proactively before bad things happen; and

5.     Integrate with energy market intelligence to identify cost, demand response and ancillary service opportunities to monetize on the dynamic workload management across data centers and capitalize on energy market participation to fund the implementation of Software-Defined Power.

Software-Defined Power is very valuable in conquering the challenges of application reliability, as well as saving energy costs.

While much of the focus in datacenter efficiency has focused on new designs and innovations in the building process as well as new energy-efficient hardware, becoming involved in the energy market and improving energy management using solutions is a logical way for the large datacenter owners and operators to decrease costs while increasing efficiency.

While the cost savings that result from avoiding application downtime are real and substantial, they are difficult to quantify. Software Defined Power pays for itself entirely, within a year, by significantly reducing the amount of energy data centers consume; paying lower rates for most of those kilowatt-hours; and enabling data centers to potentially participate in lucrative Demand Response programs.

Clemens Pfeiffer is the CTO of Power Assure and is a 25-year veteran of the software industry, where he has held leadership roles in process modeling and automation, software architecture and database design, and data center management and optimization technologies.

Increasing application reliability and improving data center efficiency was recognized as “leading edge” by IDC in a new vendor profile report “Power Assure addresses data center energy optimization through software-defined power.” To download the IDC vendor profile “Power Assure addresses datacenter energy optimization through software-defined power,” visit here.

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