The Raritan Blog

Why Raritan IT is adopting a new naming scheme in Power IQ

Allen Yang
August 26, 2010

Raritan IT team recently decided to change our naming and association schemes in Power IQ.   This change reflects the new level of power usage details IT wants to track, and how we plan to utilize such information to measure energy savings from the investment in replacing old servers with new, more energy efficient IT equipment.

In the prior Power IQ naming scheme, we name the PX outlets by “phase-circuit-rack-L/R”.  From this naming scheme, one can easily tell that it was PX-centric thinking.   Using Power IQ, IT was able to easily know the total data center power consumption, as well as power usage by circuit and by the rack.  The power consumption by individual IT devices was interesting but not as important for power capacity planning, especially when the servers were largely 1U/3U rack-mount servers.

When IT deployed Cisco UCS blade system, this focus has changed.   The blade chassis is a device with high power density, IT has to track and monitor that carefully to ensure power capacity.   And, the introduction of UCS blades was to start our transformation into Unified Computing, with the additional benefit of energy efficiency over the existing servers it will replace.   IT would like to quantify the actual energy savings from this entire change as well as incremental savings per server decommission.    As IT starts to migrate each old physical server as virtual servers onto the UCS blades, we would like to measure the delta between increased power consumption on the blade chassis and the reduced power consumption from decommissioning the old physical server.

Power IQ can help us do that easily if we change from a PX centric view to the IT device centric view.  With this change, IT can still obtain power usage per rack and per circuit from Power IQ; but it now becomes much easier to track power usage per device.

Between now and the end of this year, we will migrate all the old servers onto UCS and decommission them.   Once we complete the entire migration, IT will know exactly the energy saving from this investment.    For sure, IT wouldn’t introduce UCS just for energy efficiency if we didn’t have a need to increase computing capacity.  But it will be very interesting to compare the actual energy saving from this investment with our original estimate based on server specs and vendor advice.