Watt Matters in Energy Efficiency!

By Dileep Bhandarkar, Ph. D.
Distinguished Engineer
Global Foundation Services, Microsoft

I recently had the privilege to deliver a keynote speech titled “Watt Matters in Datacenters” at the Server Design Summit in Santa Clara, CA on December 1, 2010. My keynote focused on energy efficiency in datacenters and the need for holistic optimization of the server hardware and datacenter infrastructure. I have covered this topic in a previous blog but wanted to take this opportunity to discuss some of the work that we have been doing with our industry hardware partners to optimize server design for cloud computing.

As part of our commitment to driving efficiencies in our datacenters, we have been working actively with server OEMs, microprocessor manufacturers, disk drive vendors, memory suppliers and other component suppliers to increase the efficiency of server designs. We share our detailed requirements, develop concept designs, and work with our partners on optimized designs that are then shared out and available to the industry at large. We firmly believe that this strong partnership approach and sharing our best practices is the best way to advance the state of the datacenter industry and meet our cloud computing needs.

I also presented some opportunities that server designers should consider to further optimize for cloud computing including:

  • Better Alignment with Datacenter Technologies
  • 480V 3 phase power supplies at rack level
  • In rack UPS instead of current central UPS
  • Rightsizing of platforms for major workloads
  • Low Power DIMMs and Processors
  • Tiny CPU cores – Atom? Bobcat? ARM?
  • System on a Chip for lower platform power
  • Dynamic Power Capping
  • Designs for higher temperature operation
  • Rack level power and cooling
  • Enhanced support of virtualization

After the holidays, I will discuss these topics in greater detail in an upcoming white paper. I witnessed a huge amount of interest in what I shared at the Server Design Summit and have made my presentation available here.

Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season! 

- Dileep

Find more information on our datacenter strategies on GFS’ web site at www.globalfoundationservices.com