Update on Project Flowgate for Facility/IT Convergence in Enterprise Data Centers
We’d love to give an update our open source Project Flowgate after its inaugural announcement in Jun 2019. Project Flowgate helps enterprises converge facility and IT systems to form a holistic view for more efficient operation management.
We delivered two more releases of Project Flowgate in the last 12 months, which include new features such as:
- Refactored adapters for Sunbird PowerIQ and Nlyte with more metrics and properties.
- Refactored Metrics API, making it more developer friendly.
- Enhanced manual facility mapping feature, support map PDUs, switches and sensors to a host in IT system.
- Support import IP and asset relations to enhance the auto-mapping functionalities.
- Support integration with open source edge computing project EdgeX Foundry.
- Reduce docker images size.
- Bug fixes.
Project Flowgate was accepted as part of vRealize Operations Enterprise Edition v8.2 by the production team. We are working on the Management Pack for Flowgate. Look for that release in the coming months.
Video demo can be found here:
Sustainability is a key enterprise focus, and Project Flowgate is already assisting a few partners.
Besides its deployment within data centers of VMware for internal usage, it’s also integrated into a joint solution with Quarkdata for China Telecom, to save power for cooling in data centers. The initial result shows ~35% power saving just in cooling system.
Similarly we are also working on another research project jointly with Future Facilities, where we got ~40% total power saving on facility and IT systems. IT system contributes 73% of the energy saving.
Based on Project Flowgate, we are also working with colleagues in VMware Office of the CTO, to pursue power saving opportunities in VMware campus with Micro Grid and Edge Computing technologies.
In Open Source Summit Europe 2019, we firstly introduced Project Flowgate to the public audience officially supported by Urban Computing Foundation. And we got much attention from industrial leaders from Vertiv, F5 and others.
In August, Project Flowgate was presented to data center professionals in facility and IT areas, with a session “Data Center Evaluation Next – Facility Awareness in IT Systems in the Data Center” at Data Center World 2020. Data Center World is the #1 Conference & Expo for Data Center and IT Infrastructure Professionals. Data Center World is focused around six core tracks that are vital to every data center facilities and IT infrastructure professional. Those sessions provide real-world examples and strategies that address the major challenges affecting the data center industry, from basics to expert level education.
In this session, we shared our experience on how to manage more than 32,000+ servers plus 9,000+ network devices in our datacenter and the effort we put in to integrate the facility management and IT operation management together. Within VMware, we have roughly six different facility management systems. Meanwhile on the IT side, we have different systems owned by different Business Units. We have created a system that can automatically aggregate IT and Facility data and can back fill those correlated data to the related systems. We benefit a lot from it and now we have open source it on GitHub https://github.com/vmware/flowgate. In this session we will also share the detail architecture design of the system and the lessons we learned.