IBM launched a program that allows mainframe customers to monitor their systems’ precise energy consumption in real-time, as an extension of the company’s Project Big Green.
IBM will also begin publishing typical energy consumption data for the IBM System z9 mainframe. The data is derived from actual field measurements of approximately 1,000 customer machines, determining average watts/hour consumed which can be used to calculate watts per unit. The data collected for August and September determines that typical energy use can be normally 60% of the “label” or maximum rating for the model of mainframe measures.
With this news, IBM becomes the first company to embrace recommendations from a recent EPA report that encourages server vendors to publish typical energy consumption figures for servers.
The new IBM solution monitors a mainframe’s actual energy and cooling statistics (collected by internal sensors); and presents them in real time on the System Activity Display. With this system, a user can now correlate the energy consumed with work actually performed. When the machine reports its maintenance health on a weekly basis, the power statistics may be used. These statistics can be observed real time or also summarized for project or trend analysis. Energy consumption statistics are used for demonstrating cost savings toward electric rebates and programs to reduce data center energy consumption.
A Power Estimator Tool is also available for future planning. It calculates how changes in system configurations and workloads can affect the entire energy “envelope” – including the power needed to both run and cool the machines. For example, a customer adding a single mainframe processor for Linux applications could project the amount of additional energy required before and when the feature is turned on. Normally less than approximately 20 watts are added when an Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) feature is turned on. Typically, a single mainframe processor with zVM virtualization can perform the work of multiple x86 processors, because of the mainframe’s design point for running many mixed workloads at high utilization rates. A single processing chip executing hundreds of workloads efficiently is the key to consuming much less energy than many x86 servers which have many more power consuming components This translates into a simplified infrastructure and cost savings.
“The mainframe’s high utilization rates and extreme virtualization capability may help make it a more energy-efficient choice for large enterprises,” said David Anderson PE, IBM green consultant. “A single mainframe running Linux may be able to perform the same amount of work as approximately 250 x86 processors while using as little as two to ten percent of the amount of energy. Customers can now measure the energy advantages of IBM System z.”