Performance Evaluation and Benchmarking

Volume 5895 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 52-66

The State of Energy and Performance Benchmarking for Enterprise Servers

  • Andrew FanaraAffiliated withUS EPA
  • , Evan HainesAffiliated withICF International
  • , Arthur HowardAffiliated withICF International

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To address the server industry’s marketing focus on performance, benchmarking organizations have played a pivotal role in developing techniques to determine the maximum achievable performance level of a system. Generally missing has been an assessment of energy use to achieve that performance. The connection between performance and energy consumption is becoming necessary information for designers and operators as they grapple with power constraints in the data center. While industry and policy makers continue to strategize about a universal metric to holistically measure IT equipment efficiency, existing server benchmarks for various workloads could provide an interim proxy to assess the relative energy efficiency of general servers. This paper discusses ideal characteristics a future energy-performance benchmark might contain, suggests ways in which current benchmarks might be adapted to provide a transitional step to this end, and notes the need for multiple workloads to provide a holistic proxy for a universal metric.