IBM Improves Data Center Energy Usage Monitoring with Active Energy Manager

Uses autonomic capabilities to track energy consumption in data centers

IBM updates its management software -- IBM Systems Director Active Energy Manager (AEM) -- that uses autonomic capabilities to track energy consumption in data centers so customers monitor their power usage and make adjustments that will improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Called PowerExecutive when it was released in 2005, AEM lets customers limit power usage, prevent cost overruns, and monitor energy use to help organizations plan before deploying workloads across multiple platforms in their data centers. The company says AEM gathers more information and presents it in a simpler, more centralized way than PowerExecutive did.

“Active Energy Manager gives clients a way to understand exactly how much power is being used in their data centers and where it is being consumed,” said Rich Lechner, IBM’s vice president for IT optimization. “Along with being able to cap the energy that powers these systems, this information can help save significant energy and cooling costs and create a greener data center environment.”

The solution was originally developed for IBM’s x86 System x hardware; it now supports other IBM Systems (POWER) and IBM System Storage platforms. Big Blue says it plans to support IBM System z systems.

IT managers can use AEM to understand the actual power used by each IT resource in the data center. AEM exploits Intelligent Power Distribution Units (iPDUs) to support older servers and low-and mid-range storage devices.

AEM includes Power Trending and Thermal Trending features that the company says “monitor and report system energy usage as well as inlet and exhaust air temperatures for individual systems.” The tool provides energy management data that can be used by Tivoli enterprise solutions (such as IBM Tivoli Monitoring and IBM Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager).

IBM Systems Director Active Energy Manager will be available for download beginning December 7, 2007. iPDU capabilities, Power Trending and Thermal Trending are no-charge features of the AEM product and are available free.

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About the Author

James E. Powell is the former editorial director of Enterprise Strategies (