Using CPU gradients for performance-aware energy conservation in multitier systems

Shuyi Chen, Kaustubh R. Joshi, Matti A. Hiltunen, Richard D. Schlichting, William H. Sanders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: Dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS) and virtual machine (VM) based server consolidation are techniques that hold promise for energy conservation, but can also have adverse impacts on system performance. For the responsiveness-sensitive multitier applications running in today's data centers, queuing models should ideally be used to predict the impact of CPU scaling on response time, to allow appropriate runtime trade-offs between performance and energy use. In practice, however, such models are difficult to construct and thus are often abandoned for ad hoc solutions. In this paper, an alternative measurement-based approach that predicts the impacts without requiring detailed application knowledge is presented. The approach uses a new set of metrics, the CPU gradients, that can be automatically measured on a running system using lightweight and nonintrusive CPU perturbations. The practical feasibility of the approach is demonstrated using extensive experiments on multiple multitier applications, and it is shown that simple energy controllers can use gradient predictions to derive as much as 57% energy savings while still meeting response time constraints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-133
Number of pages21
JournalSustainable Computing: Informatics and Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • DVFS
  • Energy conservation
  • Multitier applications
  • Performance modeling
  • Server consolidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Using CPU gradients for performance-aware energy conservation in multitier systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this