How Much Does Your Code Cost?

When you’re up against deadlines to turn in a software project, you probably are focused on ensuring that you meet the functionality requirements set out in the design specification. If you have enough time, you might consider trying to maximize performance. You might also try to document your code thoroughly so that anyone taking over…

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The Data Center in Your Home

With the amount of computer power in your homes many of you could run a small nation and probably do, although it’s likely to be virtual. You’re still probably not as extreme as the president of our division, Bob Muglia, and his home data center. But, that’s no excuse for not thinking about the energy…

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Little and Large

When you hear the phrase “green IT”, you know that the word virtualization will usually appear shortly afterwards. Virtualization provides the ability to consolidate your IT infrastructure from several physical computers (each of which has a basic power overhead) onto virtual computers running on significantly fewer host computers. The increase in power consumption for each…

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Old Oak Tree Saved by the Hands of Fate?

How often do you get the opportunity to make a difference to the fate of a living organism that towers over you? And how often have you saved the life of a living entity that weighs in at several tons? Recently, a manager in Microsoft’s Data Center Services group got to experience that feeling. But…

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Intense Computing or In Tents Computing?

Introduction Now that we have introduced you to the concept of Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and provided a mechanism to calculate this value, I wanted to talk about an idea that may be considered extreme. But just as the extreme nature of Formula One technology eventually ends up in a Ford Focus (and, as I…

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Building a Green Windows Home Server

And now for something a little different. So far we have focused on the energy costs of datacenters, but since patterns & practices is a development team, we obviously have a lot of team members that have, shall we say, a little hardware at home as well. Ade Miller, our development manager, has an interesting…

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Charging Customers for Power Usage in Microsoft Data Centers

Introduction Christian’s previous post talks about altering user behavior by changing chargeback models. I would like to thank Christian for his efforts to raise awareness about this new approach to charging for data center services. I believe that implementing chargeback models based on power usage will encourage customers to consider power efficiency more seriously and…

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Changing Data Center Behavior Based on Chargeback Metrics

On July 8, 2008, 150 attendees joined in at the Microsoft-hosted National Data Center Energy Efficiency Strategy Workshop. The sidebar opposite summarizes the overall aims of this workshop.  During the workshop, I delivered a presentation on “Incenting the Right Behaviors in the Data Center.” If you want to see my presentation, you can review the…

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Part 3—"What’s Your PUE Strategy?"

This third and final article describes how you can start adopting PUE in your datacenter, and how Microsoft has benefited from its long-term use of the PUE metric. If you do not have anything to adjust that can change your PUE value, you will not be able to take action. However, it is surprising just…

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Part 2—"Why is Energy Efficiency Important?"

This second article explains why energy efficiency is vitally important in today’s economic climate. Figure 1 shows a graph of the annual amortized cost of a 1U server plotted against datacenter infrastructure costs and power costs. In 2001, the sum of infrastructure and energy costs was equal to the cost of a 1U server. In…

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