PDL Abstract

FAWNdamentally Power-efficient Clusters

12th Workshop on Hot Topics in Operating Systems (HotOS XII). May 2009.

Vijay Vasudevan, Jason Franklin, David Andersen, Amar Phanishayee, Lawrence Tan, Michael Kaminsky*, Iulian Moraru

Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

*Intel Research Pittsburgh

As a power-efficient alternative for data-intensive computing, we propose a cluster architecture called a Fast Array of Wimpy Nodes, or FAWN. A FAWN consists of a large number of slower but efficient nodes that each draw only a few watts of power, coupled with low-power storage—our prototype FAWN nodes are built from 500MHz embedded devices with CompactFlash storage that are typically used as wireless routers, Internet gateways, or thin clients.

Through our preliminary evaluation, we demonstrate that a FAWN can be up to six times more efficient than traditional systems with Flash storage in terms of queries per joule for seek-bound applications and between two to eight times more efficient for I/O throughput-bound applications.