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CARBS Project Presentation - Jisc Cost of IT Services 10-02-14
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CARBS Project Presentation - Jisc Cost of IT Services 10-02-14

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  • No such thing as a “simple” service anymoreAll of our systems used shared resources to some degree (SAN & network)Not all systems follow the rulesSNMP implementationsMIB definitions, dependencies and bugsRounding errorsCommunications protocolsMODBUS vs SNMPDCIM products are immature and constantly evolvingFeatures and functions differ considerably between products and how data is usedNewer versions of software often resolved unknown issuesFalse economies: you get what you pay for!ePDUs are limited unless you are prepared to pay extra for better monitoring functionality and more fine-grained meteringOperational processes can be an obstacle to implementing service monitoring Initial power arrangements, and cablingVLAN configurationsChange Management
  • Pre-Project Don’t assume this is going to be easy!Divide the project up into small bite-size chunks, where you can prototype the dashboard creation a service at a time.It is important to scope out the complete list of devices and software components (i.e. databases, applications, etc.) you want to monitor. This ensures you are prepared to grab data from whatever sources you need to but also highlights areas where data capture may be either very difficult or impossible without carrying out significant changes beforehand.Resolve any issues with devices not having SNMP-capability prior to install. We had power meters that said they were SNMP-capable but actually were not! They were compatible with MODBUS though, so we purchased a converter appliance.Have all necessary MIB files collated and ready to be installed. Check dependencies within MIBs and do a little research on them to ensure that they install correctly. You may need to contact the vendors to check that the values you want to extract are actually available in the MIB.Check through the MIBs and make a note of the OIDs you need to select. This is extremely useful when you come to program the DCIMHave a complete audit of your data centre to hand, including positioning of racks, equipment within them and number and positioning of power supplies. Very useful if you wan a visual output as well as a dashboard-style display. Most DCIMs allow you to do this.Move power supplies for servers on to distinct circuits or sockets depending on to what level of detail your ePDUs are capable of monitoring down to. Otherwise you will not be able to extract specific power data for individual devices.
  • During the Project Keep stakeholders informed so that they understand the value they get from the project and provide information, or changes that support your project. The server we wanted to monitor required a patch upgrade before we could get the specific, and only currently available, MIB to work with it.Manage changes to the data centre carefully or what you thought you were monitoring may change. This means ensuring that your data centre users are aware that if they make specific changes to the environment, your monitoring will fail or give off spurious results. This could invalidate your testing.This is an immature industry and DCIM products are still being developed to their full potential. Work closely with your DCIM vendor and report back issues and chase for prompt resolution.
  • Post-Project Manage changes to the data centre strictly or what you thought you were monitoring may change. This means ensuring that your data centre users are aware that if they make specific changes to the environment, your monitoring will fail or give off spurious results. This may invalidate your dashboards.Check validity of reported values on a regular basis – note any significant changes and investigate whether the service has changedLet stakeholders knowMake sure all future data centre procurement takes into account SNMP-compatibility and functionality that makes separating service-related data out simply and easily.SusteIT's Carbon Footprinting Tool can be made even better by applying a few lessons from our real-life assessment exercise:Use PUE to provide facility overheadAdd in Carbon cost to get a true pictureDon't trust the server estimators, test one of each type of server and use this base data to provide your wattage figures
  • With the framework now in place, this method can be applied to other similarly-architected services in order to provide carbon cost accounting with an estimated error margin of +/-5% In any organisation, financial decisions concerning the ICT estate are made all the time based on data that are either incomplete or missing concerning the true costs associated with owning and delivering those services. For the first time, we have been able to picture what the cost to the university might be of running a particular service in-house. Future decisions around the sustainability and viability of continuing to operate in this way rather than make more use of cloud services can be taken in the presence of greater information. As we continue to monitor and measure the costs, more complete profiling of data centre service costs will be built up. Dramatic changes can be investigated and with the tools to provide a greater degree of detailed data, better efficiency can be architected in.  The assessment exercise for the benchmarking tool would be valuable to those who feel using the default values provided within it would result in a blunt instrument for guesstimating overall power and carbon usage within the data centre. In particular, the simple use of PUE, which is commonly calculated in most data centres, to cost out the impact of a server on its environment is a valuable one. Server costing can be used as a justification for replacement or sharing of hardware resources in a virtualised environment. 
  • With the framework now in place, this method can be applied to other similarly-architected services in order to provide carbon cost accounting with an estimated error margin of +/-5% In any organisation, financial decisions concerning the ICT estate are made all the time based on data that are either incomplete or missing concerning the true costs associated with owning and delivering those services. For the first time, we have been able to picture what the cost to the university might be of running a particular service in-house. Future decisions around the sustainability and viability of continuing to operate in this way rather than make more use of cloud services can be taken in the presence of greater information. As we continue to monitor and measure the costs, more complete profiling of data centre service costs will be built up. Dramatic changes can be investigated and with the tools to provide a greater degree of detailed data, better efficiency can be architected in.  The assessment exercise for the benchmarking tool would be valuable to those who feel using the default values provided within it would result in a blunt instrument for guesstimating overall power and carbon usage within the data centre. In particular, the simple use of PUE, which is commonly calculated in most data centres, to cost out the impact of a server on its environment is a valuable one. Server costing can be used as a justification for replacement or sharing of hardware resources in a virtualised environment. 
  • Drawbacks Many assumptions need to be made when apportioning costs from various hardware and software platforms for any particular service. Even the simplest service may require a certain amount of assumptive reasoning that could be open to debate as to how accurate a picture it gives. Data from PDUs that only provide amperage output, and minimal separate distinct circuits, can cause problems when trying to assess what power is being used at the service level. Some systems, such as storage, cannot be interrogated for power usage data and therefore reliance on the PDUs is complete. Apportioning costs of the network is complex and fraught with danger. Networks can ‘self-heal’, causing the traffic patterns to change and result in an inaccurate picture of what network systems are in use and to what extent.  Technology moves on, changes occur frequently, software develops with functions being both added and removed, sometimes changing the architecture of a service in ways that the original setup may not have envisaged. For this reason, carbon accounting for services may be liable to disruption, raising the possibility of inaccurate or incomplete values being reported on the dashboard. For these reasons, this is not an exercise that can be set up and left running with no further work. Regular analysis of both the service and the data emanating from the service should be undertaken to ensure that the reported values are still valid.
  • Network: This is because it is highly complex to work out, so that will be done in a later phase of the project. The values we do have give a good approximation of what it actually costs to run the service on an hourly basis (c£0.17, $0.26, €0.20).It will be interesting to see how this power profile changes as the students return to the University in September and begin to use the service in anger once again.

CARBS Project Presentation - Jisc Cost of IT Services 10-02-14 CARBS Project Presentation - Jisc Cost of IT Services 10-02-14 Presentation Transcript

  • How Much? A study into accounting for Carbon and power in the Data Centre Steve Bowes-Phipps Data Centre Manager University of Hertfordshire http://rare-idc.herts.ac.uk
  • How Much? A study into accounting for Carbon and power in the Data Centre What? & When? • Business Drivers • The CARBS Project • Challenges • Learning • Outcomes • Summing Up
  • How Much? A study into accounting for Carbon and power in the Data Centre Business Drivers • The project supports the following UH initiatives: – The Carbon Management Plan – KPIs for Sustainability • • • • • • • • • Green ICT Strategy HEFCE encouragement to reduce Carbon footprint Need to minimise IT operational costs Making best use of existing scarce resources Assessments of cloud computing versus running services in-house are required for all new service acquisitions/replacements Lack of a framework to refer to Understanding what is driving power usage within the university’s data centres Can service users help to reduce our Carbon Footprint? Providing capacity planning data for future data centre requirements
  • How Much? A study into accounting for Carbon and power in the Data Centre The Carbon Accounting & Reporting of Baselines for Services Project (CARBS) • • • • • • 12 month project funded by JISC 2012-2013 Working with Concurrent Thinking Employs inexpensive hardware Makes use of internal server system metrics (where available) Accurate measurement of power usage within systems and across hardware domains Create a real-time environmental dashboard for individual services and the data centre(s) as a whole
  • How Much? A study into accounting for Carbon and power in the Data Centre The CARBS Project • Aims & Objectives: – Hardware and software model for providing real-time financial & carbon costing of two or more internally delivered IT services – Comparisons of output from JISC baselining resources and actual results as calculated by the project – A report on the experiences of power & carbon cost accounting for services and its comparability to the costs of external service provision through the cloud – Public blog tracking the path through the project and learning along the way – Presentation(s) to the JISC community – To work with the JISC community and wider sector to share the experiences and approaches to assist other organisations to benchmark, further develop carbon cost accounting approaches for IT services
  • How Much? A study into accounting for Carbon and power in the Data Centre Challenges • • • • • • No such thing as a “simple” service anymore Not all systems follow the rules Different communications protocols (MODBUS, SNMP) DCIM products are immature and constantly evolving False economies: you get what you pay for! Operational processes can be an obstacle to implementing service monitoring
  • How Much? A study into accounting for Carbon and power in the Data Centre Apportioning the Cost of the SAN • The total operational cost is a function of the ratio of disk storage in use by the service against that allocated elsewhere + the ratio of unallocated storage to that allocated to the service 1. 2. 3. 4. Meter the PDUs in the cabs that house the SAN Get the disk allocation for the Service Get the total allocated capacity of SAN Meter the actual Service used storage of its full allocation 5. Get the unallocated storage of the SAN 6. Calculation will be: (1*4/3)+(1/(2/3*5)) • In English: – We know how much storage is in the SAN, but we are only interested in what is being used for the service we are trying to meter. We have storage that is in use by the service and can be costed and we have spare capacity on the SAN that is powered up but not in use by any service
  • How Much? A study into accounting for Carbon and power in the Data Centre Learning • Pre-Project – – – – – More difficult than it looks! Prototype Scope project out carefully Is everything SNMP-enabled/compatible? MIBS • Do you have them? • Check dependencies • Research OIDS – Take a full audit of your data centre – Make any changes beforehand
  • How Much? A study into accounting for Carbon and power in the Data Centre Learning • During the Project – Keep Stakeholders informed – Manage changes – Work closely with your DCIM vendor
  • How Much? A study into accounting for Carbon and power in the Data Centre Learning • Post-Project – – – – – – Manage changes to the data centre Check validity of reported values regularly Keep Stakeholders informed Build SNMP compatility and functionality into future procurement requirements Don’t have a DCIM? SusteIT’s Carbon Footprinting Tool can be made even better: • Use PUE to provide facility overhead • Add in Carbon cost to get a true picture • Don't trust the server estimators, test one of each type of server and use this base data to provide your wattage figures
  • How Much? A study into accounting for Carbon and power in the Data Centre Outcomes • Achievements – – – – – – – – Complete carbon and power cost accounting for the Voyager book-lending system Better awareness of the value of virtualising or replacing servers Better informed as to cost comparison between cloud and in-house Successful implementation of the infrastructure required to provide carbon and cost accounting for most services within the university’s data centres Increased awareness of sustainability efforts at the university Increased focus on carbon costing during project initiation process A specific assessment of SusteIT’s carbon footprinting benchmarking tool against real-world data Learning documented throughout the project in our blog (http://blogs.herts.ac.uk/carbs/)
  • How Much? A study into accounting for Carbon and power in the Data Centre Voyager Dashboard
  • How Much? A study into accounting for Carbon and power in the Data Centre Outcomes • Achievements √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ Complete carbon and power cost accounting for the Voyager book-lending system Better awareness of the value of virtualising or replacing servers Better informed as to cost comparison between cloud and in-house Successful implementation of the infrastructure required to provide carbon and cost accounting for most services within the university’s data centres Increased awareness of sustainability efforts at the university Increased focus on carbon costing during project initiation process A specific assessment of SusteIT’s carbon footprinting benchmarking tool against real-world data Learning documented throughout the project in our blog (http://blogs.herts.ac.uk/carbs/)
  • How Much? A study into accounting for Carbon and power in the Data Centre Outcomes • Drawbacks – Large number of assumptions in model – Reliance on rack PDU data creates problems if they are not fully functional – A specific assessment of SusteIT’s carbon footprinting benchmarking tool against real-world data – Increased awareness of sustainability efforts at the university – Increased focus on carbon costing during project initiation process – Learning documented throughout the project in our blog (http://blogs.herts.ac.uk/carbs/)
  • How Much? A study into accounting for Carbon and power in the Data Centre Summing Up • The Voyager service cost is composed of the following elements: 1. 2. 3. 4. • Power from the PDUs in the rack where Voyager is located A proportion of the power taken from the PDUs where the SAN storage is located A proportion of the facility power, based on the PUE and the share of power required for 1 & 2 above Carbon cost for the power consumed Specifically excluded: – The network • Interesting Note: – Server at very low loading but consuming almost twice Oracle’s estimated power draw
  • How Much? A study into accounting for Carbon and power in the Data Centre Blogs: http://blogs.herts.ac.uk/carbs/ http://blogs.herts.ac.uk/rare-idc/ SusteIT’s ICT Energy & Carbon Footprinting Tool http://www.susteit.org.uk/files/category.php?catID=4 Thank You Any Questions?