The Search for Energy-Efficient Building Blocks for the Data Center

This paper conducts a survey of several small clusters of machines in search of the most energy-efficient data center building block targeting data-intensive computing. We first evaluate the performance and power of single machines from the embedded, mobile, desktop, and server spaces. From this group, we narrow our choices to three system types. We build fivenode homogeneous clusters of each type and run Dryad, a distributed execution engine, with a collection of dataintensive workloads to measure the energy consumption per task on each cluster. For this collection of dataintensive workloads, our high-end mobile-class system was, on average, 80% more energy-efficient than a cluster with embedded processors and at least 300% more energy-efficient than a cluster with low-power server processors.