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Florida summers are hot. Especially when you work out of a small home office and have a ton of equipment running non-stop. This year I finally had enough and was motivated to do something about it. My home lab consists of two Dell PowerEdge C6100 rack mount servers running two nodes each and a Synology DS1813+ NAS as well as all of your typical networking gear all tucked away in a tiny little closet.
I started playing around with a lesser used feature in vSphere called ‘Dynamic Power Management’ or DPM. DPM works with DRS to monitor the workloads across hosts, consolidate them down to run on as few hosts as possible and then put the vacant hosts in standby mode thereby saving power. When the workloads spike, DPM reverses the process, turns on hosts and DRS redistributes the loads amongst the hosts. It truly is as simple as that.
DPM is a simple cluster setting. Open up your vCenter web or C+ client, right click the cluster and select ‘edit settings’. Highlight vSphere DRS and choose ‘Automatic’ from the Power Management drop down.
After turning this on and waiting around a few minutes…nothing happened. So I set the DPM Threshold to the most aggressive setting in the C+ client to try to get it to react.
After waiting a few minutes with no vMotion activity or hosts beginning to go into standby mode, I started to research custom settings. I found the following that I applied under the ‘Advanced Options’ button at the bottom of the DRS configuration screen.
And voila! A few seconds after I hit okay, vMotion started consolidating VMs and eventually put three of four hosts in standby (I don’t run HA in my lab as none of my environment is mission-critical). Now, depending on the workloads, I can usually get a 10:1 consolidation ratio which is about what I need to be running in my day-to-day activities to remain productive. As soon as I launch more VMs, within a few seconds I see another host come out of standby mode and DRS load balances my environment as expected.
My office is A LOT cooler now and my power bill saw a noticeable drop thanks to DPM.
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