Optimizing Datacenter efficiency with Dell OpenManage Power Center (OMPC) v.3.2


With significant, ongoing increase in data center workloads, the demands on IT managers to improve their operating efficiency marches on. To support growing workloads, maintaining an ongoing practice of maximizing server density within your existing data center footprint and fully utilizing the power and cooling available in existing servers are effective approaches to getting the most out of your data center. Server power management isn’t new. In a recent survey of data center administrators conducted by Dell, over half of IT administrators are already using some kind of power management solution.

Fig. 1 – Power Management

In order to pursue the twin goals of increased density and power utilization, it’s important to utilize tools that provide extensive control and rapid, accurate monitoring of server power and thermal characteristics. With that in mind, consider that Dell OMPC is a powerful and practical tool designed to actively monitor, optimize, and control server power utilization and thermal limits. In addition to managing Dell PowerEdge servers, OMPC is also able to monitor third-party devices. With the most recent release of OMPC, version 3.2, support has been added for the latest generation of Dell PowerEdge servers, report templates have been enhanced, and this console now supports up to 6,000 devices.

OMPC overview

Power Center is a powerful tool that instruments the datacenter and can support power management, static and dynamic power and thermal policies that include prioritization of server workload, collection and comparison of thermal and power information. OMPC was built to monitor both Dell and non-Dell servers and other devices in the datacenter. In addition, the most recent version, v3.2, supports pre-defined templates to create, customize, run and export reports – so you can manage and compare to previous reports and manage your way through tasks, with results that can be filtered to make them most relevant to the task at hand. OMPC supports multiple generations of Dell servers, giving customers full control over their current and future PowerEdge servers’ power consumption, utilization, and thermal profile through tight integration with the fine-grained instrumentation and embedded intelligence in each server’s integrated Dell Remote Access Controller (iDRAC). This enables better visibility, improved control, greater rack density, faster power-capping, and greater accuracy, all of which leads to better decision-making for data center operators.


A recent case study of a Brazilian-based cloud service provider, Mandic Cloud Solutions, describes how they use Dell servers with OMPC to optimize their data center operations. In short, Mandic has been able to:

  • Expand rack density by up to 40%
  • Reduce electricity consumption by 30%
  • Reduce overall environmental impact
  • Improve datacenter space utilization
  • Monitoring and control server operating temperature
  • Increase server availability
  • Mitigate risks of unplanned stoppages.

OMPC gets immediate, precise power and thermal measurement information from monitored servers and can organize that information by row, rack, or individual server. You can utilize real time data to assess the amount of consumed power capacity and the capacity remaining. Knowing what you are really using versus a spreadsheet estimate, for example, means you can more easily identify if a given rack can support additional servers.

Fig. 2 – Power & Cooling issue frequency

How could you use the ability to control the maximum power of a group of servers? You can improve your business uptime and reduce possible power outage impact. By establishing an emergency power reduction policy, OMPC provides an additional, automated safety mechanism, which limits the power consumed by a group of servers and provides ongoing availability in the event of a power anomaly. OMPC policies provide a mechanism to allow critical servers to continue to do useful work during reduced power situations, while less critical systems are throttled back or shutdown in an orderly fashion.


To address the increasing scale associated with larger datacenters, the newest version of the OMPC supports up to 6000 managed devices from an individual console. Even for fairly large data centers, only one instance of OMPC would be needed to monitor all the servers.

Putting OMPC to work for you

Making it even better, OMPC’s monitoring functions are part of the free, unlicensed version, so you’re just a quick download away from seeing how Dell can help you keep an eye on power utilization in your data center. With the purchase of an additional “power policy” license, IT administrators can tap into the full management capabilities of PowerEdge servers with an iDRAC Enterprise license. In this scenario, an IT admin can:

  • Enable oversubscribed power supply configurations
  • Set power consumption limits individually or in groups
  • Utilize millisecond-fast power capping to avoid tripping breakers
  • Set power limits at the rack/row/room level
  • Implement dynamic power capping for a group of servers
  • Budget power by grouping servers in whatever manner makes sense – logical or physical and then set a power budget
  • Invoke pre-defined policies for power reduction in response to power events such as brown outs, loss of cooling, etc.
  • Ensure workload performance by using policies that ensure highest priority servers maintain performance even when power thresholds for a group are reached.

Download OMPC today

To get started with a free download of OMPC click here. And be sure to check out the OMPC page on Dell TechCenter. For a free trial license of OMPC’s power management, please contact your Dell representative. Thanks for reading and keep your servers cool this summer with OpenManage Power Center.

About the Author: John Abrams

John Abrams is a product marketing manager for PowerEdge servers, with responsibility for OpenManage tools and technology and networking solutions. John’s prior work at Dell covers Linux operating systems and client systems marketing. His prior work experience include compilers, debuggers, and Linux BSPs for Metrowerks/Freescale and software marketing for BMC Software.