Microsoft developers trim code internally to cut costs


//from InfoWorld Article//


You likely know already what a resource hog Windows Vista is. The fat code has high system requirements and puts a heavy strain on your hardware, as evidenced by the data Randall Kennedy has collected through InfoWorld's Window Sentinel program. And guess what? Fat code also translates to higher energy consumption as a machine works extra hard to process queries.

[Add your Windows systems to the exo.performance community, plus monitor how they specifically perform, with InfoWorld's Windows Sentinel tool.]

The folks at Microsoft know this first-hand. Michael Manos, the company's chief of datacenters, made that abundantly clear as he touted Redmond's internal datacenter monitoring program, called Scry, at the recent Uptime Institute Green Enterprise Computing Symposium.

The system gathers all sorts of data on energy usage, temperature, carbon emissions, and more from all of Microsoft's datacenters. It also ties in to the company's asset management, ticketing, and CMDB (configuration management database) systems.

Users can log in to Scry via a Web browser to view information on power consumption, carbon emissions, and such for multiple datacenters, a single datacenter, a group of servers; they can even drill down to a very granular application level. That's how the company is able to charge business units for the specific datacenter resources they use.

According to Manos, the chargeback program has driven Microsoft developers to alter their code to make it more efficient. The reasoning: More efficient code requires fewer computing cycles, which means a lower energy bill for the department at the end of the period.

"Now that we're exposing the power costs and the cost of the infrastructure ... we now have product groups making decisions on, 'Does this query take more power or less power? Is it more efficient or less efficient?'," Manos says. "We have decisions being made based on their overall power consumption in addition to the overall efficiency of the code itself."

Now that Microsoft is visibly pushing the green-computing movement, and now that it's demonstrating to the world that fat code does translate to inefficiency, one can only hope that the next version of Windows will prove far trimmer than Vista.

Posted by Ted Samson on May 7, 2008 10:33 AM


//from InfoWorld Article//

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