One way to tame those low utilization energy wasting server cpus, switch to ARM

Seems like this is the time to pick on the energy waste in data centers.  Wired has a post on the waste from servers.

Data Center Servers Suck — But Nobody Knows How Much

Mozilla’s servers average around 6 percent CPU utilization, but maybe that’s OK. Photo: Ariel Zambelich/Wired

If the computer industry’s dirty little secret is that data centers are woefully inefficient, the secret behind the secret is that nobody knows how bad things really are.

On its surface, the issue is simple. Inside the massive data centers that drive today’s businesses, technical staffers have a tendency to just throw extra servers at a computing problem. They hope that by piling on the processors, they can keep things from grinding to a halt — and not get fired. But they don’t think much about how efficient those servers are.

Mozilla is quoted as pointing out the low cpu utilization is what comes with the territory, and they have a much higher utilization of RAM and network.

Over at Mozilla, Datacenter Operations Manager Derek Moore says he probably averages around 6 to 10 percent CPU utilization from his server processors, but he doesn’t see that as a problem because he cares about memory and networking. “The majority of our applications are RAM or storage constrained, not CPU. It doesn’t really bother us if the CPU is idle, as long as the RAM, storage, or network IO [input-output] is being well-utilized,” he says. “CPU isn’t the only resource when it comes to determining the effectiveness of a server.”

One way to make this problem go away is to use a cpu that uses a lot less power.  an ARM processor.  HP thinks ARMs will be 15% of the server market in 2 years. ?

HP Believes ARM Will Conquer 15% of the Server Market in Two Years


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The world’s largest PC manufacturer, American company HP is also one of the largest server makers in the IT world. The company is working with Calxeda to build ARM servers, but it has strangely introduced Atom micro-servers first.