Virtualization Pro Tips Blog

Google Power Meter and the PowerSave Envi Add Actual Dollar Values to your Virtualization Cost Savings Calculations

The feature of virtualization that most launched it into today's public eye is in how it saves costs -- dramatic costs -- for power-hungry datacenters.  You've heard me say many times that "virtualization is the first IT technology in my career that has real value the CFO can measure."

Yet while virtualization does indeed save power, the unfortunate failing for most of us is in really measuring those cost savings.  We can tell our business leaders, “We’re saving money with virtualization.”  But without the real numbers to back that assertion up, our statements aren’t worth the electrons they’re written on.

That’s one of the reasons why I’ve recently elected to invest in a wireless power meter device for the home office.  Using such a device, I can fairly accurately tell how much power my devices are consuming.  Wirelessly paired to a remote display here on my desk, I can see in real time how my device usage impacts the utility bottom line.

Many of these power meters are intended for home use.  Right now today, $129 USD gets you a complete 120V/240V kit called the PowerSave Envi.  Needing no professional installation, this ingenious little device uses passive clamps around your main feed to monitor and report on power usage.  $149 will get a business-quality power meter that supports commercial 3 phase electrical.

Another $12 buys you a custom cable that enables connecting the device to a computer for the purposes of uploading data to Google Power Meter, an online service for logging and storing your long-term power metrics.  Alternatively, a soon-to-come $69 web bridge enables a direct-to-LAN connection.

What’s best is that these things are CHEAP.  As a result, every business who is taking the virtualization path for power savings reasons really should consider the miniscule added investment in a device such as this.  With it, you’ll get the actual measurements you’ll need to prove your RoV.

I’ll report more on how mine is doing, once the new device arrives.  But, until then, drop on by both of the above-linked sites and see if they’ll work for your environment.

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