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IBM Provides Complete View of Data Center Energy Usage With Active Energy Manager


ARMONK, NY.-IBM (NYSE: IBM) today introduced a new version of its industry-first management software that uses autonomic capabilities to track energy consumption in data centers and helps customers to monitor their power usage and make adjustments to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

The latest version of IBM® Systems Director Active Energy Manager (AEM), originally introduced in 2005 as PowerExecutive, allows customers to cap power usage, prevent cost overruns and monitor energy usage trends that enable better planning before deploying workloads across multiple platforms in their data centers.

With data center managers today facing escalating power and cooling costs, the pressures on reducing this burden are now greater than ever. IBM’s offering helps managers deal with this challenge.

“Active Energy Manager gives clients a way to understand exactly how much power is being used in their data centers and where it is being consumed,” said Rich Lechner, IBM’s Vice President for IT Optimization. “Along with being able to cap the energy that powers these systems, this information can help save significant energy and cooling costs and create a greener data center environment.”

Originally developed for IBM’s x86 System x hardware, AEM now supports additional IBM Systems (POWER) and IBM System Storage platforms and plans to extend support to IBM System z (mainframe). In addition, some hardware from other manufacturers is supported.

Instead of relying on manufacturer energy usage and efficiency estimates, IT managers using AEM can leverage its autonomic capabilities to see the actual power used by each IT resource in the data center. This allows managers to better approximate and plan for technology and energy budgets over time.

AEM extends the reach and scope of the technology previously provided by Power Executive, while gathering more information and presenting it in a simpler, more centralized way. AEM now exploits Intelligent Power Distribution Units (iPDUs) to support older servers and low- and mid-range storage devices. By plugging these systems into a supported iPDU or a smart power strip, AEM collects power information, thereby presenting a more complete view of energy used within the data center.

AEM also manages power usage across supported servers through functions such as Power Capping and Power Savings Mode. Power Capping lets users set a maximum power level per system while Power Savings Mode lets users manage power usage as work activity shifts across various demands. Using these functions, IT managers can increase their level of energy efficiency within data centers potentially saving up to 30 percent of system power demand.

In addition, AEM includes Power Trending and Thermal Trending features to monitor and report system energy usage as well as inlet and exhaust air temperatures for individual systems. Incorporating this additional data into one, centralized software-based power usage offering allows finite and localized temperature adjustments within the IT shop to further reduce energy costs for cooling.

Active Energy Manager also provides a source of energy management data that will be used by Tivoli enterprise solutions such as IBM Tivoli Monitoring and IBM Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager. Combined with IBM Systems Director and Tivoli products, AEM delivers the industry’s only cross platform solution to help customers monitor and manage both virtual and physical environments while controlling energy costs.

IBM Systems Director Active Energy Manager will be available for download beginning December 7, 2007. iPDU capabilities, Power Trending and Thermal Trending are no-charge features of the AEM product and are available free. Prices for managing power usage start at an IBM list price of under $100 (USD) per system and includes both Power Savings Mode and Power Capping.

IBM is also introducing service offerings to help customers maximize the value of implementing Active Energy Manager in their Data Centers. The Data Center Active Energy Manager implementation and hands-on training service offering will assist customers in exploiting the capabilities of the IBM® Systems Director Active Energy Manager and IBM Director® on IBM Systems as well as BladeCenter and IBM Systems Storage environments. Another service offering, available on-request, interfaces IBM Systems Director Active Energy Manager Extensions with Tivoli Enterprise Management software using ITM Power Agent and/or with OEM equipment, including building and facility automation systems. These service offerings will be available beginning December 14, 2007.


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