Google Research

Modelling user satisfaction for power-usage optimisation of computer fleets

Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory, vol. 108 (2021), pp. 102263


Power consumption costs of computer fleets can be one of the main operational costs of medium or large-sized office sites. In order to optimise the power consumption of the fleet, a set of optimal power management policies must be generated and enforced.

Generating these policies is an optimisation problem of finding the power off timeout value for each computer that maximises energy savings while guaranteeing user satisfaction. To solve this problem, understanding the computer utilisation patterns of the users and defining a metric of user satisfaction is fundamental.

This paper presents a method to analyse user activity and inactivity, extract models from previously recorded utilisation logs and use them to manage a whole computer fleet. A tool that implements this method is also introduced. This tool generates power management policies from utilisation logs. It analyses the effects of variations in fleet characteristics on policies by means of discrete event simulation. It also seeks to understand the behavioural patterns of users over weekly periods. Finally, it generates utilisation logs from high level descriptions of fleets. This tool offers a simulation to study diverse fleet configurations and generation of synthetic fleets.

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