I am Marco van Veen, and at the time of the assignment i was studying Electrical Engineering at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. At the time when looking for a graduation internship this assignment caught my attention since i was both interested in computers in general and the challenge of developing a laboratory that measures the energy consumption at a component level of a server sounded like a very fun challenge. Together with Vincent Tseng i was chosen to realize this laboratory to allow the Software Improvement Group to do research on the energy consumption of the server. From february 2012 til august 2012.
The main research question was: “Is it possible to accurately measure the energy consumption of a server in such a way that differences in consumption of the software that runs on the server can be detected?”
Since the main research question was too broad to start developing right away the question was split in various sub-questions which first had to be answered. The first thing was reading up on the subject and searching for prior research on power measurement methods, computer power management, and benchmark methods and software. Also the servers donated to us by the Software Improvement Group and Schuberg Philis were analyzed on a component level to find locations where the energy consumption of the most important components such as the CPU, the memory, hard disks and fans could be measured. With the information gathered from this research the various research questions were answered and the laboratory could be developed.
The main result of the assignment was a first version of the SEFLab, sensors were placed in the server and connected to circuitboard for filtering out noise and unwanted signals, this was connected to a data acquisition device that gathered data to analyze in real time on a separate computer. The laboratory was also tested and proved to be accurate enough to even see the power consumption of events such as when a key on the keyboard is pressed or the power consumption caused by starting up various pieces of software such as the OpenOffice Suite and Firefox.
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SEFLab internship report: Marco van Veen
My name is Bram Visser and i graduated from the study Electrotechnologie from the Hogeschool of Amsterdam with SEFLab as my graduation project. I got this project my a mere twist of fate. When i when to get a grades checked, i bumped in to a person who was waiting for the same person as me. After striking up a conversation with the men i found out that he was looking for graduate student for SEFLab. After being shown what the project was, i immediately jumped on board.
My assignment at SEFLab was to validate the created measurement system of my predecessors and improve it where it was needed. This validation encompassed as much as the theory behind the method, the impact of the system on the server, the accuracy of the system and finally using the validated system to preform research.
To complete the assignment a thorough understanding of the theory was required to validate the approach. Furthermore to analyze the impact of the system a reference had to be created by calculating the expected value and then measuring with the least amount of interference using tried and tested methods. To determine the accuracy a compilation of the specifications and tested with the system against known signals was used. And finally to preform the test, the validated system was used in conjunction with a measurement plan created specifically to determine the impact of software on the power consumption.
In the end i delivered a altered measurement system with a proven accuracy of the 99% and the results of my research which where used in a published paper which i co-auteur-ed.
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SEFLab internship report: Bram Visser
I was in my final year of the study E-Technology at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences when I had to find a graduation assignment. The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences a
nd Software Improvement Group had a new project called the Software Energy Footprint Lab where they wanted to establish a lab with the goal to measure the energy consumption in a server on component level. They were looking for students that could help to build a measurement setup that would fulfill the goal of the lab. I conducted this research from february 2012 til june 2012.
The main research question is how to accurately measure the power consumption of a server at component level in such a way that differences in the software it runs can be detected? The goal is to create a laboratory, which provides the needed means for researchers to study the impact of software in the power consumption of computers.
We started by searching for previous research that had the same goal as ours. We used the knowledge that we gained from these literature reviews to develop our own method to measure the energy consumption on component level. We first searched for measurement spots in the server. Then we would use multimeters to perform measurements with the goal to collect information about the minimum and maximum current rates and voltages. With this knowledge we could then develop a measurement setup.
In the end I delivered a diagram which shows how the power is distributed among the components of the server. Also, I determined the minimum and maximum currents and voltages along with the frequency characteristics of each measurement channel. This resulted in a circuit board which can be connected to the server to measure the energy consumption on component level.
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SEFLab internship report: Vincent Tseng