Software-defined power: the next big thing in data centers

The software-defined data center (SDDC), considered by many to be the final step in the evolution of virtualization, ignores the main cause of application outages, over half of which are power related. To achieve ultimate reliability, applications also need to be abstracted from the data center power infrastructure.

Since power itself cannot be moved in the same way as virtual servers, storage and networking, software-defined power moves the live application load, not just in a disaster situation but continuously and dynamically, without compromising application service levels or impacting the user experience. Since the infrastructure is continually being tested, the probability of smooth failover in a disaster situation is substantially improved.

Software-defined power both monitors and predicts application activity, dynamically adding and removing servers from the available pool as necessary. Unneeded servers are powered down, resulting in dramatic power savings, but they can be rapidly and automatically returned to service when required. Sophisticated algorithms ensure that adequate headroom is always available to ensure service levels are met, even in rapidly changing environments.

The abstraction of power provides multiple ROI cases, including:

  • Substantially reducing the risk of disaster-recovery failover
  • Avoiding potential disasters such as extreme weather and impending power problems
  • Reducing financial and reputational damage
  • Reducing energy consumption, typically by 50 percent or more
  • Redirecting energy consumption to the most cost-effective source
  • Avoiding power-consumption overage charges
  • Attracting incentives for participation in demand-response programs
  • Attracting payments for load shedding in periods of high demand
  • Participation in energy markets