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Aman Kansal: Inside Joulemeter

34 minutes, 14 seconds


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Joulemeter is a software-based Microsoft Research project designed to measure the energy usage of virtual machines (VMs), servers, desktops, laptops, and even individual software programs running on a computer.

Joulemeter estimates the energy usage of a VM, computer, or software by measuring the hardware resources (CPU, disk, memory, screen, etc.) being used and converting the resource usage to actual power usage based on automatically learned realistic power models.

Here, we talk to MSR research scientist Dr. Aman Kansal about what Joulemeter is and how it works.

Download Joulemeter here.


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  • I'd like to see this built into Windows. I like strange statistics.  Not sure if it really matters though. This is a pretty cool tool but not sure what the application is. There are models already for designing data centers for what UPS and generator one would need.

  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change

    For users, it would be good to know how much energy you use when spending 6 hours playing some Flash game on Facebook... Perhaps this would help people spend more time in the analog. You know, real life... Smiley


  • Integrate it into parental controls .... maybe some geoip stuff "based on your location your power comes from __________ you put _______ tones of CO2 into the air. go outside".

  • But to make good energy measurements while gaming you have to analyse the GPU also. As far as i can see this isn't the case, although graphic cards can vary in ther power consumption between 50 and 200 watts depending if you are playing or not.


    The tool is a great idea and i would love to see this build into windows one day, but without the GPU being considered it's pretty useless in my opinion.

  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change

    In the conversation we talk about heterogenous many-core chipsets and what that could mean for power usage and Joulemeter, specifically. As you learned in the introductory piece/overview for Energy Smart Software, energy efficient computing is a journey, not a destination Smiley


    I've asked Aman why Joulemeter doesn't measure GPU power consumption today.

  • GPU is not straightforward to model here since much of the activity is managed in hardware and the OS only gets a limited view into how heavily used the GPU is. That said, there are some hints the OS has about what the GPU is expected to be doing and that could be explored for doing a GPU power model...

  • The tool is expected to be useful for: users interested in seeing the energy consumption of their PC and IT pros interested in estimating how much the energy usage in their IT setup is (and how it has changed with new power management settings and group policies).


    In the longer term, this might also be useful for software developers to decide among multiple software design choices to pick the energy efficient choice. The developer may have a trade-off between using x% more CPU or y% more disk (using compressed IO for instance). The power model learned by Joulemeter gives a common currency to make such trades.

  • Brand new Dell Core i7 laptop, Windows 7 64 bit, calibration utility crashes, Taskbar launces and immediately closes.


    Don't bother with the download.

  • The taskbar launches and immediately MINIMIZES ITSELF TO THE SYSTEM TRAY. This is to allow convenient access to it from the system tray whenever you wish to look at it.



  • The crash is not common to all machines - there is support option at http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/joulemeter/download.aspx but again, this is a research preview and may not work for everyone.

  • Nisha SubramanianNisha Subramanian

    @amankansal: Hi! Could you provide an insight into how I could use it to measure the power consumption of individual applications?

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