PowerInsight - A commodity power measurement capability


The challenge of balancing between power and performance is now well established. While research in this area is well underway, the ability to measure power and energy in situ has remained an obstacle. This problem is magnified in the field of High Performance Computing (HPC). To meet this challenge, a device called PowerInsight has been designed to accomplish component level power and energy instrumentation of commodity hardware. PowerInsight was designed by Penguin Computing, in close cooperation with Sandia National Laboratories, to further power and energy research in HPC and other areas. This paper documents the design and development of PowerInsight, hardware and software. Validation of the functionality of PowerInsight was done during design and development as well as experimentally after integrating the first PowerInsight devices into a commodity cluster. This paper only begins to show the wide range of impact this level of power and energy instrumentation can have on a range of architectural and application research and analysis topics.


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