Microsoft Research Highlights Power Savings

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Researchers from Microsoft have been examining ways to save energy in basic data center processes, and are presenting a paper at Usenix (link via Mary Jo Foley) outlining some of their findings. The paper discusses an energy-saving technique called write off-loading, which alters the input/output pattern in storage systems to generate idle periods during which disks can be spun down save energy. Here’s a summary:

Our analysis shows that simply spinning disks down when idle saves significant energy. Further, write off-loading enables potentially much larger savings by creating longer idle periods. To validate the analysis we implemented write off-loading and measured its performance on a hardware testbed. The evaluation confirms the analysis results: just spinning disks down when idle reduces their energy consumption by 28

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.