From a story at the UK’s TechWorld we learned last week that Intel is tweaking its Nehalem implementation to be more attractive to “cloud” installations
Intel is developing a new motherboard, designed for servers used in cloud computing, that reduces power drawn to 85 watts in idle compared to 115 watts for standard Nehalem-based boards. A reduction of 30 watts per server could save up to US$8 million in three years in a deployment of 50,000 servers, Intel said.
…Specific motherboards can help cool down systems efficiently, which could reduce energy costs. Some of the redesigned motherboards remove slots to discourage use of power-hungry components and peripherals like graphics cards and hard drives. …The motherboards will include voltage regulators and work with software tools to monitor power consumption. One such software tool, called Dynamic Power Node Manager, will cap and balance power consumption between servers to cut energy costs.
There is also some software work going into the mix. In addition to making dull marketing claims about its compilers making codes more efficient so fewer resources are needed to run them, the company is talking about some new (interesting) software-based management approaches
Taking advantage of virtualisation technology, Intel also hopes to standardize the deployment of the DCMI (Data Center Management Interface) protocol across virtualised hardware and software environments to ease data-centre task management. The specifications include features to measure power consumption to effectively share resources across a large-scale server deployment. For example, DCMI can cap power consumption on servers and monitor temperature to prevent servers from overheating.
More in the article.