SleepServer: Energy Savings for Enterprise PCs by Allowing them to Sleep

Yuvraj Agarwal, Stefan Savage and Rajesh Gupta
November 20, 2009

Energy consumption of IT equipment is significant in enterprises. While low power sleep modes have existed for some time, their use in wall-powered desktop PCs is not prevalent due to the requirement of maintaining network presence and availability for network facing applications. In this paper, we describe the architecture and implementation of SleepServer, a system that enables hosts to transition to low-power sleep states while keeping them reachable at the highest layers of the network and software stack. SleepServer works across heterogeneous computing environments and hierarchical multi-domain networks. SleepServer requires no changes to the underlying networking infrastructure or any additional hardware on the end hosts, requiring only simple software agents to be installed. We detail results from our experience in deploying SleepServer in a medium scale enterprise with a sample set of thirty machines that were instrumented to provide accurate real-time measurements of energy consumption. Our measurements show significant energy savings for PCs ranging from typically 60%-80%, depending on their use model.

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