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Power Databases Hardware

Atom Processors Set New Record For Power-Efficient Sorting 92

schliz writes "German researchers have set a new record for energy efficient data sorting with a system based on netbook processors and Solid State Disks. The system, dubbed EcoSort, more than tripled the power efficiency of former record holders, leading one of its developers to claim: 'In the long run, many small, power-efficient and cooperating systems are going to replace the so far used, heavy weighted ones.' Records were defined by 'Sort Benchmark,' which was created by missing Microsoft scientist Jim Gray and was now managed by representatives of companies like Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft."
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Atom Processors Set New Record For Power-Efficient Sorting

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  • by lorenzo.boccaccia ( 1263310 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @06:00AM (#31654800)
    ...but you should also consider the computing power density. what you're saving in power usage you're spending in the storage rent/purchase/maintenance/whatever.

    power efficiency will grant you savings up to a certain point only, eventually the massive space you're using will cost more than the power you're saving - it's unclear by now if a atom based farm is above or below that point, but the evidence (aka actual trend of big players investment) would suggest that moving datacenter up north and south the globe is still the best choice to reduce the energy bills (which is balanced by latency and such - so even that is a tradeoff in functionality)
  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @06:58AM (#31655092) Journal
    Am I the only one who read this and thought that 50W idle is insanely high? For comparison, the BeagleBoard draws under 50mW idle. If the hard disks have spun down, that should be about your total power drain. Maybe 1W if you add a very inefficient PSU. Consuming 50W while doing nothing? That's not low power, that's embarrassing.
  • by White Flame ( 1074973 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @07:16AM (#31655174)

    Short answer: No.

    Long answer: They sort of used to be, but nowadays the lifecycles and capacities are large enough such that you could keep the SSD's interface saturated with writes for 5-10 years straight before you start to encroach on their conservatively rated write cycle life expectancy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29, 2010 @07:41AM (#31655274)

    It's easy for some marketing fools to say, "Oh, for sure, it'll last 5 to 10 years." It's easy for them to print those claims on the product packaging, too. But marketing claims don't, of course, have any real impact on the lifespan of a product.

    We heard the same claims for CD-Rs years back. They'd last 99 years, we'd often hear. Now, less than 10 years later, people who backed up data onto CD-Rs are running into problems. Even when storing the burned CD-Rs properly, they have nevertheless developed unrecoverable read errors because they've degraded many times faster than expected.

    Frankly, we can't say that these SSD drives will last 5-10 years straight, while saturated, especially while they really haven't been around for that long. Unless you've actually taken a drive and had it perform writes continuously for a decade, and can demonstratively provide that the drives will last that long before performance degrades, we have to assume the worst.

  • by FlyingBishop ( 1293238 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @08:42AM (#31655684)

    I think we can safely say that you can saturate it for a couple years, as I imagine someone has done that and not had any issues.

    Though I haven't seen the data, I think if someone consistently showed SSDs dying at a year of saturation (which is far more than you will usually have) it would make news.

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