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HP refines ProLiant, BladeSystem power management, ILO

A revamped HP Insight Control allows admins to cap the amount of power their systems use and improves on existing ILO features.

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) is tackling two issues that affect data center managers: the need to better manage power consumption and the mandate to improve productivity among overworked server administrators.

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HP's fix comes in the form of two new features to its HP Insight Control portfolio of infrastructure management tools for its line of ProLiant blade and BladeSystem servers.

With the new power capping feature in the HP Insight Power Manager component, systems administrators can establish limits on CPU usage, thereby increasing efficiency across a rack of servers. The power capping feature can help increase server density by up to 70%, said Scott Farrand, the vice president of industry standard server software for HP.

"With the power capping capability, systems administrators can measure average and peak power usage of servers and caps the amount of wattage a server utilizes at its peak usage," he said. Excess power is then freed up -- power that the data center would have to keep in its power center budget for reserve capacity. That excess capacity can be used to add more servers to the data center. HP estimates that capping server power usage can pave the way for up to seven additional servers per 10-unit rack without increasing the power budget.

According to Farrand, there is no effect on application performance if the cap is set to the peak performance limit.

Better ILO

Another feature in HP Insight Control is the Integrated Lights Out-2 (ILO) plug-in, which allows up to four data center staff to collaboratively diagnose systems issues and carry out corrective action through a shared console.

In today's data center, Farrand said, systems administrators are faced with ever increasing responsibilities. At the same time, expertise has been distributed, requiring the input of several people to diagnose a server problem. "There's a server expert and the applications expert and the networking expert, and they may be working in different locations," Farrand said. According to Farrand, issues can be resolved faster in a shared environment.

ILO also serves as a good learning vehicle, Farrand said. Historical information is available through the console, which supports knowledge transfer among data center staff.

Both tools are available now. The power capping feature is available with the Insight Power Manager for $99. The HP ProLiant Essentials Integrated Lights-Out 2 starts at $349. For more information, see

Let us know what you think about the story; email: Megan Santosus, Features Writer.

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