The Case for Sleep States in Servers

HotPower'11, October 23, 2011, Cascais, Portugal.

Anshul Gandhi, Mor Harchol-Balter, Michael A. Kozuch

Parallel Data Laboratory
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

*Intel Labs Pittsburgh


While sleep states have existed for mobile devices and workstations for some time, these sleep states have largely not been incorporated into the servers in today's data centers. Chip designers have been unmotivated to design sleep states because data center administrators haven't expressed any desire to have them. High setup times make administrators fearful of any form of dynamic power management, whereby servers are suspended or shut down when load drops. This general reluc- tance has stalled research into whether there might be some feasible sleep state (with suciently low setup overhead and/or suciently low power) that would actually be bene cial in data centers. This paper uses both experimentation and theory to investigate the regime of sleep states that should be advantageous in data centers. Implementation experiments involve a 24-server multi-tier testbed, serving a web site of the type seen in Facebook or Amazon with key-value workload and a range of hypothetical sleep states. Analytical modeling is used to understand the e ect of scaling up to larger data centers. The goal of this research is to encour- age data center administrators to consider dynamic power management and to spur chip designers to develop useful sleep states for servers.





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