MIT researchers hoping to make cloud computing more efficient

Fifty-five percent of survey respondents from higher education said they adopted cloud computing because of its efficiency and 49 percent said they use cloud-based services because the technology increases employee mobility. Twenty-five percent said they moved their colleges to the cloud because it reduced IT costs.

Cloud-based systems are innately inefficient, Mozafari said, in large part because server resources must operate at an application’s peak data – and therefore energy – demand.

“You’re not going to hit your peak load all the time,” Mozafari said. “So that means that these resources are going to be underutilized most of the time.”

Even understanding what peak demand will be for cloud-based applications is mostly guesswork among technologists.

“It’s very counterintuitive,” Mozafari said, “but you might take on certain types of extra load that might help your overall performance.”

Early tests of the MIT researchers’ algorithm show that it’s 80 percent accurate in predicting processing use and 99 percent accurate in predicting bandwidth needed by various disk operations.