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PARC Works with Startup to Save Data Centers Power

Project aimed at moving data centers from being “Always On” to “Always Available” by virtualizing the power consumption

Green Technology Journal on Ulitzer

Power Assure Inc, a California fledging developing power management solutions company, and the great Palo Alto Research Center, a k a PARC, have gotten themselves a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to reduce data center power consumption without impacting quality of service.

Power Assure will commercialize the project.

The work is described as "transformative."

It better be. Data centers in the U.S. are supposed to be eating through 100 billion kWh a year by next year although server utilization will still be at only 10%-15%.

The project is aimed at moving data centers from being "Always On" to "Always Available" by virtualizing the power consumption. Data centers will be treated as a single pool of resources - CPU cores, memory, I/O, network capacity - that can be dynamically allocated and used according to the needs and location of the applications.

The pair says that by decoupling virtualized software from the underlying hardware, data centers will be able to use the technology to shift resources to take advantage of service outages, demand response programs and lower utility rates.

The widgetry leverages PARC's mode-based control and optimization technology to virtualize data centers.

A predictive model is supposed to ensure adherence to service level agreements (SLAs) while consolidating applications on the smallest possible hardware footprint.

The technology can also prioritize resource assignments on the basis of quality-of-service (QoS) requirements. Once the applications are consolidated, the Power Assure solution can put individual hardware or components to sleep or shut them down and reportedly realize significant power savings. And if the software forecasts an increase in the computational load, well then the solution can bring additional hardware resources online to guarantee SLAs.

The widgetry, which promises a potential 57% reduction in energy cost and ROI in three months, according to one case study, isn't intended to handle mainframes, storage or single apps on single servers. It supports Xen, VMware and Hyper-V. Power Assure would get 30% of the cost of the power saved.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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