It has been a pretty decent month for Power Assure, a player in the data center management space. Not only has the company release a comprehensive new version of its energy management suite but its technology has been tapped by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) as the underpinning for its new power measurement standard.
Under the pact with Underwriters Laboratories, the testing and certification organization has used the Power Assure PAR4 approach to create the UL 2640, which is a new server performance standard. PAR4 focuses on figuring out the energy efficiency of servers regardless of their age or capacity. The rating focuses on representing transactions per watt-second of energy consumption. That's markedly different from the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) measure that was developed by the Green Grid, which looks at the ratio of cooling technology that is needed to keep a particular server infrastructure environment properly cooled. You can see how both would be relevant, though, for data center operators seeking to be more energy-conscious.
In a press release about the partnership, the organizations said the suite of tests that will be used for the new measure include a Power On Spike Test, a Boot Cycle Test and a Benchmark Test. The latter will be used to classify overall performance and will range from Green (most efficient) to Black (the lowest efficiency rating).
The PAR4 approach upon which the new rating is based is just one of the technologies that has been developed by Power Assure, which is planning to ship version 4 of its Energy Management software platform by the end of June. When I spoke with Power Assure CEO Brad Wurtz about the new release, he said the software update includes a whole new set of modeling and analytics that let data center managers drill into areas of energy inefficiency more explicitly. You can look at power utilization, space utilization and so on. Then, you can run visualizations that will tell you what effect potential changes might have. You could even use the energy management platform to set up usage based electricity consumption billing scenarios.
"Our goal is to help cut the power consumption of every data center that we work with in half," Wurtz said.
This technology is for organizations that typically have at least 10 data centers to manage, but it can be used with maybe 100 racks of equipment. Bigger data center operations (think Google or Amazon or Facebook) typically roll their own versions of this stuff. Pricing starts at $2,500 and the software is delivered as a service. Incidentally, Power Assure has some pretty noteworthy technology partners including: ABB, Cisco, Dell, IBM, Intel and VMware.