Power Consumption Graphing and Control in vSphere 4.1
Hardware Power Management RequirementsFor this power saving feature to work, your server must have the capability to support any of these power management technologies: Enhanced Intel SpeedStep or Enhanced AMD PowerNow!
In addition, you may also have to enable this feature in your server's BIOS to allow vSphere to control the CPU frequency, a process sometimes known as Demand Based Switching.
How to Configure Hardware Power Management in vSphereAs mentioned earlier, the main setting of controls takes place in the vSphere Client. Once you're in there, select the server whose power management policy you'd like to configure, click the Configuration tab, then click the link named Power Management found under the Hardware section (not the Power Management link under the Software section).
Notice that it shows the power management technology currently being used. In my case for example, it's Enhanced Intel SpeedStep. If your server does not support any of the technologies mentioned earlier, then it will state this accordingly.
Secondly, that section also shows the power management policy that's currently active, e.g. High Performance. After having said that, this should be the perfect time to take up the possible CPU power management policy values that can be displayed. Here they are in a nutshell.
CPU Power Management Policy Values:
- Not supported - This will be displayed if either the host doesn't support any power management features or if the power management feature is simply not enabled in the BIOS.
- High Performance - This is the default value. It signifies that the VMKernel detected certain power management features, but will not use them unless the BIOS issues a request for power capping or thermal events.
- Balanced Performance - Signifies that the VMKernel is using available power management features to lower host energy consumption without compromising performance.
- Low Power - Means that the VMKernel is aggressively using available power management features to lower host energy consumption at the possible expense of performance.
- Custom - Displayed if the VMKernel implements specific user-defined power management features based on the values of advanced configuration parameters. These parameters are set in the vSphere Client Advanced Settings dialog box.
This will take you to the Edit Power Policy Settings dialog box. Choose your desired power management policy.
For example, if you want to reduce energy consumption without compromising performance, click the Balanced option then click the OK button.
After clicking Refresh, you'll notice that the Active Policy changes to Balanced.
You can repeat this process on all the servers that you'd like to change the power management policy.
vSphere 4.1 Power Consumption GraphsAfter enforcing your desired power management policy, you might want to monitor the effects of your settings by viewing the power consumption graphs that come with vSphere 4.1. Select a server you want to monitor and go to its corresponding Performance tab. Next, click the Advanced button and, in the Switch to drop down list, select Power.
If all goes well with your new (and presumably more conservative) power management policy, then that graph will reflect it. You may show additional information on the graph by clicking Chart options (encircled in the last screenshot). That will take you to the Customize Performance Chart window.
Here's how that would look like on the updated graph.
You can do that for all your ESX and ESXi servers.
That's it. I hope you can take advantage of the power consumption graphing and control features in vSphere 4.1 and add even more to your savings.