Nov 5, 2007

Say Hello to My Little Friend, Cassatt Active Response

My recent blog entries have all focused on power management and some of the inefficiencies in today's engineering labs and departmental server rooms. During the past few weeks, I've been talking with customers, and a recurring theme has been the desire to get control of the power and cooling costs.

One customer in Arizona has maxed out their data center, and they're not allowed to pull any more power into their facility. Even though electricity is inexpensive in Arizona, this customer has a power problem. They would like to reduce electrical consumption by 20% so that they can deploy new applications. However, they're not in a position to change out their servers or their infrastructure. They just want an easy way to power down one set of servers (and applications) so they can deploy another set of new applications (and their corresponding servers). Many of these servers are needed for cyclical applications, such as batch and ERP, that need more capacity at the end of the month. So managing which servers are powered on/off can allow this customer to deploy new applications without building a new data center.

In Silicon Valley, a large product-development company has hundreds of engineering labs and departmental server rooms. These labs are teaming with the devices they need to develop and test their product. These labs are used primarily for weekly builds and occasional patches for customer escalations. And after you count all the devices in these "little labs," the grand total is more than 200,000 devices. Now that's a large electric bill!

Cassatt's new product line, Cassatt Active Response, provides some solutions that are easy to implement in these engineering environments. The new product line consists of four product editions packaged for different audiences.
  • Standard Edition provides energy efficiency by allowing you to manage power consumption and set policies in your environment.
  • Premium Edition provides increased energy efficiency and application resiliency by allowing you to pool resources and manage application workloads.
  • Data Center Edition provides increased energy efficiency, high application availability,
    and server workload management in production environments.
  • Enterprise Edition will allow you to manage all data center resources across your enterprise.
Premium Edition and Data Center Edition map to the previous Collage & XVM products. (details). Both of these editions are available today. Enterprise Edition is a new product that we are still developing, and it will be available in late 2008.

Standard Edition is a new product that is combines new technologies, such as Active Power Management, with Collage technologies, such as policy management and a rules engine. Standard Edition introduces a new policy manager that allows different teams to set up power-management policies for the servers that they use. Standard Edition is easy to deploy in engineering environments, since you don't need to change the applications or O/S on the servers that will be power-managed. And you can see immediate savings. To calculate the savings in your environment, check out the ROI calculator.

And yes, we fly our own airplane within Cassatt. (I prefer that to "eating your own dog food.") We have three engineering labs with close to 500 servers. The servers in these labs are all managed with Cassatt Active Response. Servers are powered on only when they're part of a dev/test cycle. And our instantaneous power consumption is well below our rated capacity in each lab.

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