Reducing World of Warcraft's Power Consumption

Taiwanese researchers' special take on virtualization means far fewer servers and less energy

3 min read

19 August 2010—Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) such as World of Warcraft consume a lot of their players' time. They also consume a lot of energy, as more than a thousand servers can be required to create one game's virtual worlds. Last year, Yeng-Ting Lee, a 26-year-old online game fanatic, began to wonder if there was an easy way to reduce their energy consumption. Lee, who is a research assistant at the Institute of Information Science, Academia Sinica, in Taipei, Taiwan, says he has found a way to cut MMORPG power consumption in half. Last month he revealed the solution at the IEEE Cloud 2010 conference.

The computing needs of online gaming firms can be hard to meet. MMORPGs' hourly and daily workloads fluctuate widely, because many people don't or can't play during work hours or on weekdays, and each firm often plays host to several games at once.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
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A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar
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You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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