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Using VMware Distributed Power Management

With VMware Distributed Power Management and Distributed Resource Schedule, you can reduce data center power consumption in a major way.

VMware's Distributed Power Management (DPM) is one feature that demonstrates the potential of VMotion -- not just...

visually, but in hard cash. DPM, which is actually a piece of VMware's Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), and DRS don't get the exposure that they deserve. If every company understood how well DRS and DPM reduce power consumption, these virtualization management tools would be considered must-haves for server infrastructure.

The biggest selling points combine energy efficiency and resource allocation. Envision this scenario: During the night, when demand is low, all but two of your data center servers power off automatically but leave all data center services still available. If end users try to use an application at 3 a.m., they don't notice any difference in performance. In the morning, when they come to work, powered-off servers are magically powered on and virtual machines moved onto these servers.

Now consider how much electricity your company could save on powering those servers and on cooling a data center every day of the year, all without your having to do a thing. DPM quickly pays for itself in power consumption right away and over time.

Using VMware Distributed Power Management

To use DPM, first create a Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS)-enabled cluster where VM load is distributed across the physical servers in that cluster. Using VMotion, VMs are moved from server to server automatically to balance the load. The functionality of DRS and DPM can also easily be joined with VMware's High Availability solution, VMHA, which improves resource allocation and energy efficiency and prevents server downtime.

DPM takes DRS a step further by performing server consolidation of VMs onto fewer hosts (using VMotion) when the load on the virtual infrastructure is low, and then powering off ESX Servers that aren't needed. When the load increases, the network adapter feature - Wake on LAN (WOL) - awakens the powered-off servers and the VMs are moved back. Thus, in addition to the typical vSphere requirements, a network interface card with WOL is also required.

VMware's Distributed Power Management is offered in two of the six vSphere Editions: Enterprise and Enterprise Plus. Additionally, VMware's vCenter is required.

For more information, read all about DPM at VMware's DRS / Distributed Power Management (DPM) product page or watch a video demonstrating the power of DPM at the YouTube DPM Video page.

Return to guide's main page for more on VMware virtualization products and features .

About the author:
David Davis is the director of infrastructure at TrainSignal.com -- the global leader in video training for IT pros. He has several certifications including vExpert, VMware Certified Profession (or VCP), CISSP, and CCIE #9369. Additionally, Davis has authored hundreds of articles and six video training courses at Train Signal, where one of the most popular course is the VMware vSphere 4 video training course. His website is VMwareVideos.com. You can follow Davis on Twitter or connect with him at David on LinkedIn.

This was last published in November 2009

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