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Zen and the Art of Data Center Greening (and Energy Efficiency)
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A Comment on “Efficient Application versus Efficient Infrastructure”

Posted By Zen Kishimoto, Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Rob Aldrich of Cisco wrote this blog comparing the impacts of applications and infrastructure on data center efficiency.

His point is that although application architecture may ultimately have more impact on data center efficiency, it will be a long time before applications are redesigned to be more efficient. Meanwhile, infrastructure should be retrofitted to make data centers more efficient. Aldrich enumerated well-known ways to improve power efficiency:

  1. Reducing total power supplies (SMPS)
  2. Increasing distribution voltage
  3. Improving IT asset utilization through virtualization
  4. High efficiency, close-coupled cooling with side air economizers
  5. Efficient UPS

Even though the above five methods are not equally easy to implement, any improvement to the entire infrastructure will have a positive influence on all the applications—therefore, we should improve it. Many applications these days have web technologies in common and somewhat share architecture that may be further improved for efficiency. However, applications are not as common as infrastructure, and more research into how they can be made to consume less power is required.

One area for research may be the use of parallelism in programming. I, for one, learned how to program in a multiprocessor environment but never had a chance to execute such a program, because there was no multiprocessor-based computer available at the time.

By exploiting a multicore-based chipset, I am sure we can improve the architecture of applications so that they run more efficiently, preserving precious watts. Yes, Rob I am all for your suggestion!

Tags:  Cisco  Efficient applicaiton  Efficient infrastructure 

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