Modelling energy consumption of network transfers and virtual machine migration

Vincenzo De Maio, Radu Prodan, Shajulin Benedict, Gabor Kecskemeti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Reducing energy consumption has become a key issue for data centres, not only because of economical benefits but also for environmental and marketing reasons. Therefore, assessing their energy consumption requires precise models. In the past years, many models targeting different hardware components, such as CPU, storage and network interface cards (NIC) have been proposed. However, most of them neglect energy consumption related to VM migration. Since VM migration is a network-intensive process, to accurately model its energy consumption we also need energy models for network transfers, comprising their complete software stacks with different energy characteristics. In this work, we present a comparative analysis of the energy consumption of the software stack of two of today's most used NICs in data centres, Ethernet and Infiniband. We carefully design for this purpose a set of benchmark experiments to assess the impact of different traffic patterns and interface settings on energy consumption. Using our benchmark results, we derive an energy consumption model for network transfers. Based on this model, we propose an energy consumption model for VM migration providing accurate predictions for paravirtualised VMs running on homogeneous hosts. We present a comprehensive analysis of our model on different machine sets and compare it with other models for energy consumption of VM migration, showing an improvement of up to 24% in accuracy, according to the NRMSE error metric.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-406
Number of pages19
JournalFuture Generation Computer Systems
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Benchmarking
  • Energy consumption
  • Network interface card
  • Virtual machine migration


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