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Integrated Dell Remote Access Controller 8 (iDRAC8) Version User's Guide

Monitoring Performance Index of CPU, Memory, and I/O Modules

In 13 th generation Dell PowerEdge servers, Intel ME provides support for Compute Usage Per Second (CUPS) functionality. The CUPS functionality provides real-time monitoring of CPU, memory and I/O utilization and system-level utilization index for the system. Since it is done by Intel ME, it is independent of the OS and does not consume CPU resources. The Intel ME has a system CUPS sensor which provides the Computation, Memory and I/O resource utilization value as CUPS Index. iDRAC monitors this CUPS index for the overall system utilization and also monitors the instantaneous value of CPU, Memory, and I/O utilization index.

Utilization information of system resources is obtained by querying the data from a set of dedicated counters provided by the CPU and chipset. These counters are called Resource Monitoring Counters or RMCs. These counters are aggregated by the node manager to measure the cumulative utilization of each of these system resources that is read from the iDRAC using existing inter-communication mechanisms to provide these vital data through out-of-band management interfaces.

Since Intel sensor representation of performance parameters and index values are for complete physical system, performance data representation on the interfaces is for the complete physical system, even if the system is virtualized and hosting multiple virtual hosts.

To display the performance parameters, the supported sensors must be present in the server.

The four system utilization parameters are:
  • CPU Utilization - There are individual Resource Monitoring counters (RMCs) for each CPU core which are aggregated to provide cumulative utilization of all the cores in the system. This utilization is based on time spent in active state and time spent in inactive state. Each sample of RMC is taken every six seconds.
  • Memory Utilization - There are individual counters (RMCs) to measure memory traffic occurring at each memory channel or memory controller instance. These counters are aggregated to measure the cumulative memory traffic across all the memory channels on the system. This is a measure of memory bandwidth consumption and not amount of memory utilization. iDRAC aggregates it for one minute of period, so it may or may not match the memory utilization shown by other OS tools such as TOP in Linux. Memory bandwidth utilization shown by iDRAC is indication of whether workload is memory intensive or not.
  • I/O Utilization - There are individual Resource Monitoring Counters (RMCs), one per root port in the PCI Express Root Complex to measure PCI Express traffic emanating from or directed to that root port and the lower segment. These counters are then aggregated to measure PCI express traffic for all PCI Express segments emanating from the package. This is measure of IO bandwidth utilization for the system.
  • System Level CUPS Index - The CUPS index is calculated by aggregating CPU, Memory, and I/O index considering a pre-defined load factor of each system resource. The load factor depends on the nature of the workload run on the system. Thus at any given time, CUPS Index represents the measurement of the compute headroom available on the server. Hence, if the system has a large CUPS Index, then there is limited headroom to place additional workload on that system. As the resource consumption decreases, the system’s CUPS Index decreases. A low CUPS Index indicates that there is a large amount of compute headroom and the server is a main target for receiving new workloads or having the workload migrated, and the server being placed into a lower power state in order to reduce power consumption. Such workload monitoring can then be applied throughout the data center to provide a high-level and holistic view of the datacenter’s workload, providing a dynamic datacenter solution.
  • NOTE: The CPU, memory, and I/O utilization indexes are aggregated over one minute. Therefore, if there are any instantaneous spikes in these indexes, they may be suppressed. They are indication of workload patterns not the amount of resource utilization.

The IPMI, SEL, and SNMP traps are generated if the thresholds of the utilization indexes are reached and the sensor events are enabled. The sensor event flags are disabled by default. It can be enabled using the standard IPMI interface.

The required privileges are:
  • Login privilege is required to monitor performance data.
  • Configure privilege is required for setting warning thresholds and reset historical peaks.
  • Login privilege and Enterprise license is required for reading historical statics data.

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