Feeds

Monitoring and managing power consumption

Reg Readers tell it like it really is

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Trevor PottTrevor Pott
Infrastructure Support Engineer

Power consumption and cooling are two issues that cannot be disentangled. Eventually you will put too many servers on a single breaker, or notice that servers in the back closet don’t work anymore if you close the door. Once a company has been faced with this realisation, they have begun the long road towards datacentre design.

Every watt consumed by a server is a watt you have to figure out how to cool. For the small business with a single server under a desk, neither cooling nor power consumption are likely to be an immediate issue. When you are small, power and cooling can be as simple as a second breaker and leaving the door open. When you are Google, both factors are such important considerations that they determine the location and specific design of billion dollar data centres. Somewhere in between is the real world of everyday datacentre operations.

Simple tools like a kill-a-watt or a power distribution unit (PDU) with a built-in ammeter can tell you what the power draw of your servers are. Test the servers under heavy stress, as modern servers are fairly good at backing down their power consumption when they are idle. You need to get an idea of what they are pulling when loaded. Once you know how much power the servers consume you can start doing a little basic maths to see how much power you will need for future expansion. Factor in that you have to cool all of that heat, and that the chillers will cost you power as well.

In the long run, you will need to measure a server’s power draw over time. Any decent uninterruptible power supply (UPS) should be able to give you information on how much load is being drawn from it. UPSs are often equipped to send statistics on power usage to a central monitoring server from which you can collect information for later analysis. Like UPSs, the nicer PDUs are networked and are granular enough to allow per-socket monitoring.

Monitoring of the chillers duty cycles can help give you an idea of how much headroom you have to add servers to the datacentre. If the chillers are fully engaged for the entirety of your datacentre’s peak period, it’s probably not a good idea to add servers without adding chillers. Another good idea is to invest in thermometers that can record statistics. You can get them as network-attached devices, and they are fantastic at helping you find hot spots in your datacentre.

Proper power planning goes beyond simply ensuring that you have enough breakers pulled into your datacentre. It also means ensuring that you aren’t overtaxing your UPSs. Monitor your usage, plan for peak consumption, and above all leave yourself headroom for growth.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Next page: Are you an Expert?

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – A jolly little war for lunchtime
Free-to-play WoW turn-based game when you have 20 minutes to kill
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.