Power usage has become a key priority for data center operators, who are assessing the best hardware and software options to track and manage the efficiency of their facilities. Yesterday Intel (INTC) became the latest tech titan to roll out an energy-focused offering, announcing Intel Data Center Manager, a software development kit that helps monitor and manage data center power consumption on servers using the new Intel Xeon 5500 processors. Data Center Manager uses Power Node Manager, a power management policy engine embedded in Xeon 5500 server chipsets, to collect and analyze energy usage data, set up alerts for power and thermal events, and set policies on power capping and workload management.
Intel tested Data Center Manager last year in a proof-of-concept installation at the Chinese search engine Baidu, which was experiencing power capacity challenges in leased third-party data center space. Baidu's rack-level power constraints limited it to just 5 2U servers in each 42U rack. By using Data Center Manager to track and cap power usage, Baidu was able to put three additional 2U servers in each rack, for a total of 8 - providing 60 percent more capacity. Intel has a white paper detailing its work with Baidu.