NightWatchman Server Edition v2.0 helps tackle virtual server sprawl

Grassy server room!

Photo via Tom Raftery

In a bid to help companies tackle server sprawl, 1E launched v2.0 of its NightWatchman Server Edition yesterday.

1E’s NightWatchman software comes in two flavours – the desktop edition to allow for central administration of the power management of laptops and desktops (including Macs) and the server edition.

The power consumption of desktop computers, which are often only used 8 hours a day, (and may need to be woken up once a month at 3am for an update) is relatively straightforward to manage. On the other hand, the power management of servers is quite a bit more complex. Servers are, by definition supposed to be accessible at all times, so you can’t shut them down, right?

Well, yes and no.

Not all servers are equal. Up to 15% of servers globally are powered on, and simply doing nothing. This equates to roughly $140 billion in power costs and produces 80 million tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Nightwatchman helps in a number of ways. First, its agent-based software quickly identifies servers whose CPU utilisation is is simply associated with its own management and maintenance processes (i.e. the server is unused). These servers can be decomissioned or repurposed.

NightWatchman goes further though and it uses its Drowsy Server technology to dynamically drop CPU and fan speeds on servers when they are not under pressure, and ramp them back up once more as soon as the server starts to be used. 1E estimates an average 12% energy savings per server due to Drowsy Server alone.

This latest release of NightWatchman Server Edition addresses virtualisation and virtual server sprawl.

Because virtualisation software vendors have made virtualisation such a trivial task there is now a growing issue of virtual server sprawl. NightWatchman v2.0 can now identify unused virtual servers to allow for them to be deleted or put to work freeing up server resources (and software licenses!).

Even more interesting though, is that 1E are publishing in the Customer Spotlight section of their blog, a series of posts from CSC detailing the journey of installing and using NightWatchman Server Edition within CSC to reduce energy consumption.

It is one thing to hear from the vendor just how good their product is. It is another thing completely to have someone like CSC detail the rollout of the software across their North American server infrastructure. This is a blog I will be following with interest.

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