Sun’s Jenny Chen just wrote a very detailed post about measuring the power consumption of MySQL servers. She says the following:
There are different places that we can make changes to improve performance of a MySQL application: schema optimization and indexing, query performance optimization, tuning database server settings. The more detail and deep information on MySQL performance was covered in the guide book of High Performance MySQL, 2nd edition written by the MySQL performance experts. In this document, I have research test results bellow showing that increasing MySQL performance with these methods can actually reduce CPU utilization to save energy.
I couldn’t have said it better. You should really read the post — it is a great investigation into how increased performance brings cost savings. (Not only that, it helps conserve natural resources).
In general one of the reasons I felt so strongly about the need for this book, and spent so much time on it, is that it’s really possible to get order-of-magnitude performance gains from MySQL. That means proportionally fewer servers, less power, less air conditioning, fewer toxic computers manufactured. And I mean the gains can be dramatic. One of my current consulting clients is doing exactly what my previous employer did — but less of it — and is using upwards of 80 servers for the task. In my opinion they only need 4 or 6 servers to handle their load. Opportunities for this type of performance improvement are all around me on a daily basis.