Unlock Energy Consumption in the Cloud with eBPF

Unlock Energy Consumption in the Cloud with eBPF

For the last two years, I’ve started to look into sustainability and what it means for software engineering, with a focus on the cloud native field. I explored this during studying for my master's in computer science and in the open source CNCF community (CNCF TAG ENV). To me, sustainability + software is about understanding how the virtual world we are creating with software may look when balanced with the world we live in. The environmental aspect of sustainability in the technical domain, which is about the consumption of resources to build virtual services and how this all fits together, is very intriguing to me to explore further. There is a lot that yet needs to be explored in this field, I would like to share in this blog post series a couple of thoughts on how I look at this developing field. There are different ways you can understand complex relationships in areas such as this, you can focus on different aspects, highlight other areas. The perspective that I share throughout the next three blogs are mostly around navigating abstraction layers.

So why is this blog post called “Unlock Energy Consumption in the Cloud with eBPF”? The title foreshadows where the journey leads to. The title uses the term “unlock” to indicate that we do not yet have proper measurement in the cloud to collect energy consumption, and it mentions eBPF as a solution; however, it should more be taken as an option into account. Based on eBPF several new tools emerged that allow for more detailed and fine-grained collection of metrics and with that decision-making. But we will explore that later. Honestly, this series touches on a lot of stuff, so it can be called anything, really.

In Paris March 2024 at Kubecon I will give a talk about some version of these blogs as a talk. I mainly wrote these blogs as preparation for the talk. But now, a lot more work went into the blogs before even starting working on the talk (directly). You can find a link to the talk here.

To kick off this series, the first blog will discuss “The Imperative of Measuring Energy Consumption in the Cloud: When and Why to Begin”. The second one is about “Navigating the Landscape of APIs for Energy Measurement in Computing Components” and the third and last one is about “Beyond Standard APIs: Designing Comprehensive Energy Measurement with eBPF”. All blogs are available at the same time, but split so it is more digestible. I hope there is something interesting in it, please let me know.

Blog Post Series:

Leo; 5 days before my Kubecon talk on Thursday March 21st.