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IBM updates power management for servers

Putting a cap on with a plug-in

Security for virtualized datacentres

It took a little bit longer than expected, perhaps, but IBM has finally delivered its Active Energy Manager plug-in for its Systems Director system management tool. The tool can be used to monitor power consumption and thermal conditions of IBM and non-IBM systems, as well as capping the power that can be used on selected server models.

The AEM plug-in runs on Linux partitions on Power, X64, or mainframe iron, and it can reach out into Windows, Linux, AIX, z/OS, and i 6.1 partitions on those various machines and keep them inside power consumption and thermal boundaries set by system administrators.

Last week, IBM rolled out V4.1 of the AEM tools, one for System z mainframes and one for all the other server platforms. Both updates have features that allow them to reach out into power distribution units inside of computer racks and see what power they are consuming, allowing administrators to monitor at the rack level as well as at the server level in their data centers. The new version of the plug-in can also do power capping based on a group level, such as all the blades in a chassis or all the servers in a rack, and has support for the new Power6-based Power 520 and 550 machines announced in October as well as for Power6-based JS12 and JS22 blades, which were not supported in the earlier version. You can monitor energy use on any Power System or System z mainframe, but only Power6 or X64 machines support power capping. You need Systems Director V6.1 to use AEM V4.1, and the updated software includes a web console, which means you no longer need to install client software on your administration PC to use the tool.

Because this is the new IBM, prices were not announced, but the pricing of the product is based on a tiered scheme not unlike that used for other systems software on AIX and i boxes.

You can find out more about the AEM plug-in for Power servers here, for X64 servers here, and for Linux on System z servers here.

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