Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

PowerNap and RAILS provide roadmap for reducing data center energy requirements by 75%   Bookmark and Share


Data centers are central to the nation's cyberinfrastructure and our way of life. Each time you make an ATM withdrawal, search the Internet, or make a cell phone call, your request is routed through a data center. Data centers have a dark side, though. They use a lot of energy, and most of it is wasted.

Thomas Wenisch, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, has been researching data center designs with an eye toward making them more energy efficient. He and students David Meisner and Brian Gold presented a paper about improving the efficiency of data center computer systems on March 10 at the International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems in Washington, D.C. Their approach for improving data center efficiency includes PowerNap, a plan to put servers to sleep for milliseconds between tasks, and RAILS (Redundant Array for Inexpensive Load Sharing), a more efficient power supplying technique.

For more information about PowerNap and RAILS, see:

U-M News Service press release & podcast, March 5, 2009

Prof. Wenisch is a member of the Advanced Computer Architecture Laboratory in Computer Science and Engineering. His research interests center on computer architecture with particular emphasis on multiprocessor and multicore systems, multicore programmability, data center architecture, and performance evaluation methodology.