The case for sleep states in servers

TitleThe case for sleep states in servers
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsGandhi, Anshul, Harchol-Balter Mor, and Kozuch Michael
Conference Name4th Workshop on Power-Aware Computing (HotPower '11)

While sleep states have existed for mobile devices and workstations for some time, these sleep states have largely not been incorporated into the servers in today's data centers.

Chip designers have been unmotivated to design sleep states because data center administrators haven't expressed any desire to have them. High setup times make administrators fearful of any form of dynamic power management, whereby servers are suspended or shut down when load drops. This general reluctance has stalled research into whether there might be some feasible sleep state (with sufficiently low setup overhead and/or sufficiently low power) that would actually be beneficial in data centers.

This paper uses both experimentation and theory to investigate the regime of sleep states that should be advantageous in data centers. Implementation experiments involve a 24-server multi-tier test bed, serving a web site of the type seen in Facebook or Amazon with key-value workload and a range of hypothetical sleep states. Analytical modeling is used to understand the effect of scaling up to larger data centers. The goal of this research is to encourage data center administrators to consider dynamic power management and to spur chip designers to develop useful sleep states for servers.