Towards Better Performance Per Watt in Virtual Environments on Asymmetric Single-ISA Multi-Core Systems

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Executive Summary

Single-ISA heterogeneous multi-core architectures promise to deliver plenty of cores with varying complexity, speed and performance in the near future. Virtualization enables multiple operating systems to run concurrently as distinct, independent guest domains, thereby reducing core idle time and maximizing throughput. This paper seeks to identify a heuristic that can aid in intelligently scheduling these virtualized workloads to maximize performance while reducing power consumption. The authors propose that the controlling domain in a Virtual Machine Monitor or hypervisor is relatively insensitive to changes in core frequency, and thus scheduling it on a slower core saves power while only slightly affecting guest domain performance.

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