Using that data, the software can generate detailed analysis to show datacenter operators how much power a given server is consuming to perform what tasks. Additionally, admins can see what level of work a server is doing at any given time of day or night. The offering can report not only on energy consumption, but also cost, efficiency and CO2 emissions for all servers or group by location, department, application, and more. In short, you have a detailed view of precisely how productive (or unproductive) the servers are on a 24/7 basis.
According to 1E, the solution is available for all types of server platforms. Interestingly, it can track the performance of not only individual machines but also of virtual machines. This will gain increasing importance as virtual server sprawl becomes as problematic as physical server sprawl.
Armed with that information, an admin can make informed decisions about what to do with a given server. Machines achieving zero useful work can be decommissioned. The workloads of underutilized machines can be combined intelligently; for example, tasks that run during off-peak hours could be moved to a server doing productive work during peak hours only.
You are getting drowsy
Finally -- and this is especially interesting to me -- an IT admin can use NightWatchman SE to automatically put a machine into Drowsy Server mode (a form of dynamic power management) when it's not performing useful work.
Note that 1E makes an effort here to emphasize that the server isn't being powered down completely. 1E CEO Sumir Karayi stressed the point as well during my briefing about the product. The reason is understandable: The typical IT admin is very wary of powering down a server completely, for fear that it won't come back up quickly enough, if at all. "Powering down is not a method that goes down well with datacenter managers," he said, "They are really obsessed about service levels."
Notably, admins can set NightWatchman Server Edition to power machines off completely when they aren't doing anything useful, but Karayi said this application is for very special niche cases, such as test and development machines.
What's unfortunate here is the fact that Drowsy Server yields just a 12 percent reduction in power consumption. Perhaps that's nothing to sneeze at; every watt saved translates to money saved and carbon emissions reduced. But that 12 percent figure pales in comparison to the potential savings from putting a machine into a deeper sleep mode. As a point of comparison, a PC that's up and running might use 70 to 100 watts but only 5 watts in standby. That's a power savings of more than 90 percent.