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Microsoft Research Virtualizes Idle Desktops to Save Power

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Microsoft Research India scientists have developed LiteGreen, power-saving technology that can virtualize enterprise desktops in a virtual machine and migrate them between the users' physical desktop and a virtual machine server, depending on whether the desktop is being actively used.

An idle virtual machine will continue to run on the server, without disrupting the network connectivity or other background compute activities. Although computers are often idle, users are reluctant to put them to sleep because it would break long-running network connections such as log-in sessions, Internet messaging, and file sharing, or background computations such as the syncing and automatic filing of new mails.

LiteGreen will wake up the machine when the user returns, providing access within about 10 seconds through a remote desktop connection to the desktop virtual machine running on the virtual machine server. It will also migrate the desktop virtual machine back to the user's physical desktop machine without the user noticing in about one minute in a typical local access network environment. The researchers say the technology can be scaled to a wide-area network and the virtual machine server can be hosted in a cloud.

From IDG News Service
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