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Towards Power-Aware Memory for Virtual Machines

Towards Power-Aware Memory for Virtual Machines
Subject:Power Management
Type:Diploma Thesis

Prof. Dr. Frank Bellosa, Jan Stoess

Graduand:Max Laier


The current trend towards hardware consolidation, using full machine virtualization techniques, demandsmore and more powerful host systems with huge amounts of main memory. To operate such systems economically, power management for the memory system is becoming an important issue. Previous work has only investigated power management for traditional operating systems.

This thesis, for the first time, analyzes the specific challenges and opportunities of the virtualization environment to provide memory power management. We adapt previously described techniques for memory power management in traditional operating systems to the hypervisor in a virtualization environment. In addition, we describe a number of additional techniques—specific to our environment—that help to save additional energy. We show that a set of relatively minor changes to the memory management can easily halve the static energy consumption in the memory system.

Our work is based on pure virtualization with no changes to the guest operating systems. Thus, a hardware consolidation setup can collect the benefit of our memory power management for legacy guest systems. For our evaluation, we use the latest, hardware-assisted, virtualization techniques, which provide almost raw hardware performance, and demonstrate that our changes do not impact on the performance of the virtualization.


  author = {Max Laier},
  title = {Towards Power-Aware Memory for Virtual Machines},
  type = {Diploma Thesis},
  address = {System Architecture Group, University of Karlsruhe, Germany},
  month = nov # "~30",
  year = 2009,
  url = {http://os.ibds.kit.edu/97_1752.php}