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Energy consumption is a major and costly problem in data centers. A large fraction of this energy goes to powering idle machines that are not doing any useful work. The authors identify two causes of this inefficiency: low server utilization and a lack of power-proportionality. To address this problem, they present a design for a power-proportional cluster consisting of a power-aware cluster manager and a set of heterogeneous machines. Their design makes use of currently available energy-efficient hardware, mechanisms for transitioning in and out of low-power sleep states, and dynamic provisioning and scheduling to continually adjust to workload and minimize power consumption.
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