Intel Intelligent Power Node Manager is a new technology that is available with the Xeon 5500 Series Platforms released earlier this year. Many of you have asked me questions via Twitter (@Toadster) about "How can I use Node Manager?" - so I wanted to present some simple use cases to simplify the explanation of Node Manager and how you can best use the technology in your own enterprise.
First of all, let's explain the growth problem at hand. As servers shrink in size, the density of each server 'footprint' is growing from a power perspective... a few years ago, a single 42U rack could hold about 21 servers (estimating 2U servers) - and usually hosting one or two apps/servers per physical server, depending on if you had single or dual-socket servers. In modern datacenters, that same 42U rack can hold 42 servers (1U each) with 2P per server - so you have an immediate density increase of 2X the # of servers, and 2-4X the number of sockets - which can equate to 16X the number processor threads per rack... one good thing is that Intel has been developing newer technologies to keep the TDP of each CPU roughly the same over the same time period between processor updates... where you used to have 2 or 4 cores, you now have 8 to 16 cores at the same thermal envelope!
Knowing how much power your platform uses is a key factor in populating racks and rows in your datacenter. Prior to Node Manager technology, most Datacenter Managers would base rack population on 'nameplate' power - or the (W) rating on your power supply. That's the 'max' power utilized by the platform, and what the PSU is rated for (worst case). See the image below...
As you can see - using Intel Intelligent Power Node Manager technology, you can view your system's power utilization in real-time using Intel Datacenter Manager and the administrator can implement the power caps to ensure your server rack stays within your required power limits. By utilizing the 'actual' power limits instead of nameplate power, you can increase your rack density thereby increasing your ROI, and decrease your TCO! Lets face it - everyone loves saving money!
Many of us are familiar with this next scenario... it's summertime, and the power company is announcing that the power grid is under strain. Personal homes start having their A/C cut-off to save the power grid from brown-outs... now your enterprise can help reduce those risks as well!
Over the next few weeks, I hope to post more blogs/videos:
1. Single Node Power Monitoring & Management
2. Group/Rack Power Monitoring & Management
3. Thermal Monitoring & Management
Please provide some feedback, and post your questions and ideas for upcoming blogs!