Monday, September 20, 2010

Microsoft Research Labs: Joulemeter

Joulemeter is a software based mechanism to measure the energy usage of virtual machines (VMs), servers, desktops, laptops, and even individual softwares running on a computer.

Joulemeter estimates the energy usage of a VM, computer, or software by measuring the hardware resources (CPU, disk, memory, screen etc) being used and converting the resource usage to actual power usage based on automatically learned realistic power models.

Joulemeter can be used for gaining visibility into energy use and for making several power management and provisioning decisions in data centers, client computing, and software design.

The technology is especially helpful for IT leaders managing power management settings, PC users who wish to get fine grained visibility into their computing energy use, and enthusaist developers who wish to leverage power measurement for optimizing their software and hosted service design for power usage. The fundamental concepts behind how the technology works are available in this paper.

Download: A research preview, that allows advanced users to try out some of the features of the above technology is available for download. Please see the download page. This version supports only system energy metering (with break-downs for CPU, monitor, and disk), on Windows 7 machines.

A WattsUp power meter (WattsUp Pro with USB connection) is recommended for learning an accurate power model for your machine. The power meter can be shared among multiple machines and users as it is needed for only a few minutes per machine. The software will work without a power meter as well.