Managing server energy and operational costs in hosting centers

Yiyu Chen, Anand Sivasubramaniam, Amitayu Das, Qian Wang, Wubi Qin, Natarajan Gautam

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

330 Scopus citations


The growing cost of tuning and managing computer systems is leading to out-sourcing of commercial services to hosting centers. These centers provision thousands of dense servers within a relatively small real-estate in order to host the applications/services of different customers who may have been assured by a service-level agreement (SLA). Power consumption of these servers is becoming a serious concern in the design and operation of the hosting centers. The effects of high power consumption manifest not only in the costs spent in designing effective cooling systems to ward off the generated heat, but in the cost of electricity consumption itself. It is crucial to deploy power management strategies in these hosting centers to lower these costs towards enhancing profitability. At the same time, techniques for power management that include shutting down these servers and/or modulating their operational speed, can impact the ability of the hosting center to meet SLAs. In addition, repeated on-off cycles can increase the wear-and-tear of server components, incurring costs for their procurement and replacement. This paper presents a formalism to this problem, and proposes three new online solution strategies based on steady state queuing analysis, feedback control theory, and a hybrid mechanism borrowing ideas from these two. Using real web server traces, we show that these solutions are more adaptive to workload behavior when performing server provisioning and speed control than earlier heuristics towards minimizing operational costs while meeting the SLAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-314
Number of pages12
JournalPerformance Evaluation Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005
EventSIGMETRICS 2005: International Conference on Measurement and Modeling of Computer Systems - Banff, AB, Canada
Duration: Jun 6 2005Jun 10 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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