Intel has a new piece of software called Data Center Manager (DCM), which provides power management ranging from the individual server level up to the bird's-eye-view of your entire data centre. There are still few supported devices for this fledgling product. Given Intel's heavy push for cloud computing, I expect that to change …
Old tricks, old dog?
Many years ago Intel had a product called LANDesk manager, it was a unified management suite that allowed developers to write APIs for it.
When Intel entered the "white box" server market in the mid 90's their server range shipped with LANDesk Server Manager (LDSM) and at the time it was an incredibly powerful piece of "free" software for managing Intel servers in NT4 and SCO/UX environments.
In about 2001/2 Intel dropped the LANDesk Server Manager and replaced their beloved white box servers management with Intel Server Manager [ISM], as they'd sold off the entire LANDesk Manager product to another party, however Intel did (and perhaps still do?) own a minority stake in the product
Admittedly ISM offered some better features, but it was never quite "as good" as their LDSM product.
The bottom line is Intel are not newbies at developing powerful management software that developers can hook APIs in to and tailor to their every need. I think they've just been awaiting the right time now that the legacy server singe/dual core chipsets have hit their EOL.
I wonder how many OEMs will embrace this product? It would be nice to manage every brand of server in the same way from a unified interface, oh, and let's not forget the storage and interconnects too. Interesting times ahead in the DC!
Spot-prices of electricity?
Surely if you're seriously cloudy and thus have datacentres around the globe, you can just track the off-peak electricity pricing. Run your server loads in the middle of the night (locally) and direct the traffic around.
Efficient on bandwidth? Not really. But efficient on electricity? Surely is - just crack the whole thing onto an Economy7 tariff, and you won't need quite as much active cooling at night.
Surely there's a more significant problem with this than latency (and having to have equipment in datacentres worldwide, but I'm still working on a cup of tea here so I've not spotted it yet.