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  • Writer's pictureDAVID MITLYNG

Weekly Takeaways-February 15, 2023

The Server Lights Are Big and Bright Deep in the heart of Texas, they are building new power plants - for data centers. Over 200MW of capacity, enough to power a small city, is being built to handle our social media addiction. It has been estimated that 30 minutes on Netflix is equivalent to driving four miles. And the problem is only getting worse. But there is a solution - better synchronization. Yes, more accurate time synchronization in data centers improves efficiency and reduces power consumption. A Facebook and NVIDIA study found that a synchronization improvement of 80x made a distributed database run 3x faster, a huge improvement. They created the Time Appliances Project with the mission statement: “Time is a key element to get the highest efficiency in a distributed system. The performance of a distributed system depends on the synchronization of its elements.” The relation between synchronization and efficiency is not that intuitive, so the simple analogy: distributed databases work by sending and receiving data. The data goes through lots of doors, and opening these doors takes energy. Waiting for the doors to open and close reduces efficiency, which can be reduced if they are synchronized. Last Week's Theme: Teamwork

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