Back in September the performance team here at VMware embarked on a project to measure power savings as a result of using VI3's distributed power management (DPM). This feature, experimentally supported in VI3 will full support planned for the next release, leverages DRS to consolidate idle and lightly-loaded VMs onto as few servers as possible. Once the workload has been consolidated to the bare minimum hardware required, spare servers are powered down. The end result is the flexible performance due to automated load balancing and a halving of total power usage.
The experiment that we performed was based on a workload derived from VMmark. In fact, it was precisely the VMmark workload. But the execution of the test against a cluster of systems makes the results invalid for comparison against other systems. VMmark run rules require the test run against VMs on a single server.
We started the test with 13 tiles worth of VMs (108 VMs in all) on the DRS cluster. With all of these VMs idle, DPM consolidated them to a single host and turned off three servers. As the load was applied to the VMs at 9:00 AM and driven through an eight-hour workday, DRS and DPM powered on servers and balanced load, as needed. When the day ended at 5:00 PM, the load was again consolidated and servers were powered down. The video we shot includes power meters of the systems under test and screenshots of activity induced by DRS and DPM.
Check out the video on YouTube and let me know what you think. I'm considering recording some of the other amazing things that we're doing with our products and would love your feedback on what you'd like to see.