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Emerging scale-out cloud applications need extensive amounts of computational resources. However, data centers using modern server hardware face physical constraints in space and power, limiting further expansion and calling for improvements in the computational density per server and in the per-operation energy use. Therefore, continuing to improve the computational resources of the cloud while staying within physical constraints mandates optimizing server efficiency to ensure that server hardware closely matches the needs of scale-out cloud applications. The authors use performance counters on modern servers to study a wide range of cloud applications, finding that today's predominant processor architecture is inefficient for running these workloads.
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