Earlier last month Intel put a new tool up on its public idea test drive site at WhatIf.intel.com. The Energy Checker SDK is designed to help data center managers and application developers with an early tool to help match software function to the energy it uses. Something interesting about the approach is that it relies on a (developer- or business-supplied) concept of value in the application, allowing organizations to get a handle not just on total watts consumed but on the ratio of watts to useful work
The Intel® Energy Checker API provides the functions required for exporting and importing counters from an application. A counter stores the number of times a particular event or process has occurred, much like the way an odometer records the distance a car has traveled. Other applications can read these counters and take actions based on current counter values or trends derived from reading those counters over time. The core Intel® Energy Checker API consists of five functions to open, re-open, read, write, and close a counter.
The Intel® Energy Checker SDK API exposes metrics of “useful work” done by an application through easy software instrumentation. For example, the amount of useful work done by a payroll application is different from the amount of useful work performed by a video serving application, a database application, or a mail server application. All too often, activity is measured by how busy a server is while running an application rather than by how much work that application completes. The Intel® Energy Checker SDK provides a way for the software developer to determine what measures of “useful work” are important for that application and expose those metrics through a simple API.