Power Capping: What Works, What Does Not

Pavlos Petoumenos, Lev Mukhanov, Zheng Wang, Hugh Leather, Dimitrios S. Nikolopoulos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

14 Citations (Scopus)
381 Downloads (Pure)


Peak power consumption is the first order design constraint of data centers. Though peak power consumption is rarely, if ever, observed, the entire data center facility must prepare for it, leading to inefficient usage of its resources. The most prominent way for addressing this issue is to limit the power consumption of the data center IT facility far below its theoretical peak value. Many approaches have been proposed to achieve that, based on the same small set of enforcement mechanisms, but there has been no corresponding work on systematically examining the advantages and disadvantages of each such mechanism. In the absence of such a study,it is unclear what is the optimal mechanism for a given computing environment, which can lead to unnecessarily poor performance if an inappropriate scheme is used. This paper fills this gap by comparing for the first time five widely used power capping mechanisms under the same hardware/software setting. We also explore possible alternative power capping mechanisms beyond what has been previously proposed and evaluate them under the same setup. We systematically analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each mechanism, in terms of energy efficiency, overhead, and predictable behavior. We show how these mechanisms can be combined in order to implement an optimal power capping mechanism which reduces the slow down compared to the most widely used mechanism by up to 88%. Our results provide interesting insights regarding the different trade-offs of power capping techniques, which will be useful for designing and implementing highly efficient power capping in the future. 
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2015 IEEE 21st International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Systems (ICPADS)
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-7695-5785-4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015
EventThe 21st IEEE International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Systems - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 14 Dec 201517 Dec 2015
http://www.2015.icpads.org/ (Link to the Conference details online)


ConferenceThe 21st IEEE International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Systems
Internet address


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