[Techtalk] going green

Maria McKinley maria at shadlen.org
Thu Jul 1 06:48:30 UTC 2010

Rudy Zijlstra wrote:
> Hi Maria,
> On Wed, 2010-06-30 at 14:59 -0700, Maria McKinley wrote:
>> I am getting pressure from my boss to make our servers/computers "more 
>> green", but am at a bit of a loss as to what to do. Not even sure if 
>> this is something to tackle in software or hardware. It seems what I 
>> want, at least for the cluster, is something that keeps track of demand, 
>> and turns on or wakes up computers when more processing power is needed, 
>>   but not sure how to implement something like this. Currently, people 
>> look on a web page to see which computers are being used the least, and 
>> then log onto those computers to do computations. But, to make the other 
>> scenario work, would need some central place to log on, and then have 
>> the computer decide where to send the process, and whether to "wake up" 
>> a computer. Any ideas or experience with this sort of stuff out there?
> There are several SW steps you can take, even without having people
> change their habits, by taking a look at system build-up
> - do the systems have non-system disks that can be put in sleep mode
> when not in use? modern disks can be told to spin-down after so many
> seconds of no activity. I've had good results with that on 2 file
> servers. 
> - Use on-demand scheduling for the processors. This will put them in
> low-power mode when not in use and reduce power consumption that way.

Thanks for the ideas, and I should probably should know this, but... Can 
you give me a little more information about how on-demand scheduling for 
the processors is accomplished? Is this a bios thing, an operating 
system thing or something that is built into certain hardware?


> - those are the subsystems i can come up with that are easy to reduce a
> bit. Do the systems have PCI cards that are not used, or need to be only
> in some systems? if so, remove those. Other components that are not
> used, yet often powered? 
> - then you can indeed investigate the route you are now thinking about.
> In that one i do not have experience, and very interested in what others
> come up with
> Cheers,
> Rudy
>> thanks,
>> maria
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