Friday, 27 February 2009

Microsoft's Big Sleep

No, we're not talking about that period of time when Microsoft didn't notice the growth of the internet and Google creeping up on it. This refers to a report in The New York Times that Microsoft is working on developing software that will shut down servers automatically when not in use. It's very like the way Alcatel-Lucent is reducing base station power use as we reported on Wednesday.

In Microsoft's case the solution is based on using more of Intel's Atom (netbook) chips, which use a lot less power but are also limited in their computing capability. Microsoft is looking for a combination of these Atom chips and sophisticated software that detects, and increasingly predicts, low server use and puts servers into sleep mode. Intelligent prediction of quiet times and early anticipation of unexpected demands can save significant amounts of power; down to 2-4 watts per server rather than the usual 28-37 watts.

The name of the this green IT project? Marlowe of course (author of The Big Sleep).

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