One of the major challenges in today’s computing world is energy management in portable devices and servers.Power management is essential to increase battery life. High end server systems use large clusters of machines that consume enormous amount of power. Past research has devised both software and hardware techniques to memory energy management but has overlooked the performance of applications in such environments. The result is that some of these techniques slowed down an application by 835%. In this paper, we look at software techniques for memory energy management without compromising on performance. The paper conceives of a new approach called BOS- Ballooning in the OS inspired from the VMware ESX server. The BOS approach consists of a kernel daemon which continuously monitors the accesses to memory chips and disk I/O. Based on the profiled information, the BOS daemon decides about powering down/up chips. Powering down is emulated within the kernel using mechanisms such as page migration and invisible buddy. Results indicate that chips with more allocated pages may not always be the most frequently accessed ones. A study has been done analyzing the effect of decreased memory size on disk activity and based on the study, a threshold based policy is proposed which is found to settle in the operating point for a simple applicaton. A single page migration incurs a cost of approximately 13µs andis one of the bottlenecks in the BOS approach.
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