Cooler servers for the Internet

Unnamed Administration sources reported that Sean Donelan said:

Of course, these numbers are pretty bogus. Most computer manufacture
specification sheets are useless for accurately forecasting the power
consumption of the equipment. I suspect, after Sun's PR people realize
they are getting beat up, they will go back and better calculate the power
consumption figures for their servers.

I'm not very interested in who really has the coolest, most efficient
computers. I am interested in getting accurate information for planning
purposes. If this leads to computer vendors publishing more accurate
information, great. I'm afraid instead, the pendulum will swing the
other direction and vendors will begin understating their true power

The best test I can come up with at the drop of a hat:

  Plug server into std. watt-hour meter.

  Run benchmark X, Y and/or Z for one hour.

  Note KWH's consumed.

This is so trivial a software house could do it if they
had an electrician buy the meter and wire it up with plugs.

It will tell you true KWH's, as that's what they measure. The
meters are highly tracable back to NIST/etc standards [1] and
they are cheap.

Radical idea: why not call The Donelan Test, and demand it from
your vendors?

1] Want stds that have been beaten on? Use those proven by products
with lots of money changing hands.


Many times early in the development process hardware
options are being evaluated prior to purchase....The
need for accurate power information extends beyond
system deployment, it starts during systems
specification. I have come across many situations
where companies were not making consideration for
power available by their power supply. The thought
was it has the slots so stick the extra cards in (very

If a system is over loading a power supply it is very
likely to have premature failure along with potential
to damage to system components.

I do like your idea of average power requirement
metering using simple test equipment when possible.


Kevin Facinelli
Director of Operations
Crystal Group Inc
319-378-1636 x227