Energy Efficiency: The New Holy Grail of Data Management Systems Research

Harizopoulos, Stavros
Shah, Mehul
Meza, Justin
Ranganathan, Parthasarathy
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Energy costs are quickly rising in large-scale data centers and are soon projected to overtake the cost of hardware. As a result, data center operators have recently started turning into using more energy-friendly hardware. Despite the growing body of research in power management techniques, there has been little work to date on energy efficiency from a data management software perspective. In this paper, we argue that hardware-only approaches are only part of the solution, and that data management software will be key in optimizing for energy efficiency. We discuss the problems arising from growing energy use in data centers and the trends that point to an increasing set of opportunities for software-level optimizations. Using two simple experiments, we illustrate the potential of such optimizations, and, motivated by these examples, we discuss general approaches for reducing energy waste. Lastly, we point out existing places within database systems that are promising for energy-efficiency optimizations and urge the data management systems community to shift focus from performance-oriented research to energy-efficient computing.
Comment: CIDR 2009
Computer Science - Databases, Computer Science - Performance