[Techtalk] going green

Rudy Zijlstra rudy at grumpydevil.homelinux.org
Thu Jul 1 21:27:50 UTC 2010

On Wed, 2010-06-30 at 23:48 -0700, Maria McKinley wrote:
> 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?

for a good introduction to ondemand scheduling, see:


Normally the BIOS on not involved in any way. 



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