IDF: Future Xeon servers with extended power management
At the IDF, Intel will reveal further details about the already announced Dynamic Power Node Manager, which is said to be part of the chipsets for servers incorporating the Xeon processors of the upcoming Nehalem generation. Intel has initially mentioned the Tylersburg-EP chipset – which in its Tylersburg-36S incarnation will also be available as an X58 for high end desktop computers – for two processors, most likely for Gainestown Xeons – Nehalem-EP.
According to the information available so far, the Node Manager offers the following principal power management features: Display of the current power consumption to an accuracy of ± 10 per cent – Dynamic Power Monitoring, Power Capping through the determination of certain ACPI performance (p-) states, and an alert when the stated budget levels are exceeded – Power Threshold Alerting. The Node Manager is said to be capable of out-of-band (OOB) communication with a control and monitoring console, for example via IPMI. This allows the admins at data centres to budget their systems' power consumption or define high efficiency areas for specific tasks.
The Node Manager is also said to be suitable for automated power management. Vendor Virtual Iron, for example, has announced that it will integrate an initially experimental function called LivePower in the upcoming version 4.4 of its server virtualisation software. LivePower is designed to shift virtual machines between various systems depending on the degree of utilisation of the various processors and processor cores. Microsoft's Hyper-V is also said to be capable of using Intel's Node Manager for moderating the power consumption and performance of Nehalem Xeons. VMware has integrated the, also still experimental, Distributed Power Management (DPM) function in its VMware Infrastructure 3 as part of the Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS).
Both HP and IBM have supplied power measurement tools for their servers, called Insight Power Manager and PowerExecutive respectively, for some time. These allow administratorss to calculate the power requirements of individual services.
For more on IDF 2008, see also:
- IDF: the dual-core Atom for cheap computers is on its way
- IDF: Details about QuickPath Interconnect
- Intel gives competitors access to part of preliminary USB 3.0 specification