Towards Energy-Proportional Computing for Enterprise-Class Server Workloads
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Massive data centers housing thousands of computing nodes have become commonplace in enterprise computing, and the power consumption of such data centers is growing at an unprecedented rate. Adding to the problem is the inability of the servers to exhibit energy proportionality, i.e., provide energy-ecient execution under all levels of utilization, which diminishes the overall energy eciency of the data center. It is imperative that we realize eective strategies to control the power consumption of the server and improve the energy eciency of data centers. With the advent of Intel Sandy Bridge processors, we have the ability to specify a limit on power consumption during runtime, which creates opportunities to design new power-management techniques for enterprise workloads and make the systems that they run on more energy-proportional. In this paper, we investigate whether it is possible to achieve energy proportionality for an enterprise-class server workload, namely SPECpower ssj2008 benchmark, by using Intel's Running Average Power Limit (RAPL) interfaces. First, we analyze the power consumption and characterize the instantaneous power prole of the SPECpower benchmark at a subsystem-level using the on-chip energy meters exposed via the RAPL interfaces. We then analyze the impact of RAPL power limiting on the performance, per-transaction response time, power consumption, and energy eciency of the benchmark under dierent load levels. Our observations and results shed light on the ecacy of the RAPL interfaces and provide guidance for designing power-management techniques for enterprise-class workloads.