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Datacenters spend $10-25 per watt in provisioning their power infrastructure, regardless of the watts actually consumed. Since peak power needs arise rarely, provisioning power infrastructure for them can be expensive. One can, thus, aggressively under-provision infrastructure assuming that simultaneous peak draw across all equipment will happen rarely. The resulting non-zero probability of emergency events where power needs exceed provisioned capacity, however small, mandates graceful reaction mechanisms to cap the power draw instead of leaving it to disruptive circuit breakers/fuses. Existing strategies for power capping use temporal knobs local to a server that throttle the rate of execution (using power modes), and/or spatial knobs that redirect/migrate excess load to regions of the datacenter with more power headroom.
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