Feeds

Google spanks memory, disk and networking vendors

Calls for proportional response

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Google has hit out at storage, memory and networking equipment makers with a grimace, a finger wag and a closing wallet.

Two of the ad broker's leading data center researchers have published a paper chastising all of the aforementioned groups of hardware makers for failing to cater to the real needs of customers. Unlike chip manufacturers, the other major infrastructure players have placed little emphasis on tuning their gear for energy efficient use in large data centers. As a result, customers are wasting millions of dollars on electricity, cooling and hardware.

In order to improve this situation, Google engineers Luiz André Barroso and Urs Hólzle have called for the development of "energy-proportional" gear that would cater better to the specific demands of those customers running hundreds and thousands of servers.

Barroso, whose paper appears in the Dec. issue of the IEEE's Computer magazine, has been taking Google's internal power, system usage and component failure research and turning it against the industry. In June, he whacked the reliability claims of disk manufacturers and revealed a couple of techniques Google has discovered for making platters spin longer. Now, he and Hólzle have gone at most of the major data center players, saying they need to step up their game to help out customers.

Many Greenies like to focus in on the processor as the real power problem child of data centers. The Google pair, however, think that it may make more sense now to examine the role that other components play in overall power consumption due to the unique nature of data center loads.

As most of you know, the recent multi-core designs from Intel and AMD have brought about a dramatic improvement in performance per watt metrics. In addition, both vendors and customers have started to pay more attention to power supplies, buying more efficient units for a bit extra cash. The upshot of both trends is that the "engine" part, if you'll forgive us, of the data center is showing power efficiency improvements.

For Barroso and Hólzle, these more fundamental technology shifts will have a greater impact on data center efficiency than some of the moves to apply mobile chip-style power tweaking to server processors. And this is - after more than 300 words and a head held in shame - is where we get to the real meat of the Googlers paper.

Unlike, say, notebooks, servers spend very little time in a truly idle state. Instead, servers usually run here - at between 10 per cent and 50 per cent utilization.

Throttling a chip down in these types of circumstances can prove more troublesome than helpful. For one, the latency penalties associated with waking up from a low power state often exceed the power saving benefits for a server customer. In addition, even servers with low usage are rarely idle. They're performing background jobs, helping present parts of a database or aiding with recovery tasks during failures.

But even with penalties for low power modes, chips tend to present some gains for servers customers in these states that are not offered with other server hardware.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
DEATH by COMMENTS: WordPress XSS vuln is BIGGEST for YEARS
Trio of XSS turns attackers into admins
SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016
Flash WORM has a serious use for archived photos and videos
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.