Important new tool to improve energy efficiency of large data centres

The Economic Times of India describes a new technique for computer operating systems that could boost the efficiency of large data centres that was developed by Australian scientists. With the growth of large data centres, this is an important development.

 

Tool developed to boost computer energy efficiency by 25%

A team of Australian scientists have developed a new technique for computer operating systems that could boost the efficiency of large data centres by 25 per cent.

Researchers from The Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, and US technology giant Microsoft, teamed up to implement the system which would see the computer’s operating system share its processing power, a mechanism which would lead to a substantial upgrade in energy efficiency for servers that run searches and interact with users, Xinhua news agency reported.

Professor Steve Blackburn from ANU Research School of Computer Science said the sharing of the computer’s processing power which refers to the ability of a computer to manipulate data would activate the improved efficiency.

“Computer servers spend a lot of time waiting around for search requests to come in. By sneaking in other processes while they are waiting, we can use the computers more efficiently,” Blackburn said in an ANU media release on Tuesday.

Blackburn said the improvement in efficiency was inspired by the fairy tale of the Elves and the Shoemaker.

“It’s just like the elves that used the shoemaker’s tools at night in the Brothers Grimm fairy tale.”

Microsoft, Google and Facebook, which provide huge internet services, attribute a lot of their success to the speed of searches and other web services that interact with users. A delay as small as a hundredth of a second will mean lost revenue for companies.

The team were able to work out a way for processes that are not time critical to use the operating system while it is idle, and to quickly step out of the way when search requests come in.

A key to implementing the new development into the operating system was analysing server and application performance in great detail.

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