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DevOpsJournal: Article

Application Power Consumption Is the Mobile IT Factor

New conditional dynamics in clunky and lazy apps

This post is sponsored by The Business Value Exchange and HP Enterprise Services

Back in the good old 1990s we were actually concerned with software application performance factors such as processing power clock speed along with system memory and storage. While memory is still an important determining factor, the questions of microprocessor megahertz and total system storage capacity have become largely regarded as "sufficiently catered for" in almost any given desktop computer system.

But as mobile form factors have joined their desktop-based cousins, new conditional dynamics have come to the fore. Suddenly processor speed is once again a consideration, as is memory, screen size, input mechanism (i.e., touch, stylus, speech etc.) and perhaps most of all power consumption.

New Conditional Dynamics in Clunky and Lazy Apps
The more clunky and more lazily engineered an application is, the less "efficient" it will be in terms of its living deployment behavior inside any given device - and efficiency in this sense is important because efficiency translates to battery power consumption and this equates to how long a user can plug into his or her favorite apps and website while on the move.

These factors mean that the next generation of applications will have to be better served by more "battery-cognizant" technology at both the hardware and software level. Intel's 4th generation Intel Core Processor family (formerly known as Haswell) has been specifically aligned for better power consumption; the 22 nanometer Tri-Gate chips are said to offer as much as 50 percent additional battery life compared to the Ivy Bridge generation and there's double the graphics performance too.

Intel says this launch should be regarded as the most dramatic and sizeable roadmap development in the firm's history - and the firm is not alone in targeting power-related developments.

IBM is working with AT&T to attempt to provide enterprises with a means of conducting testing and analysis of their application's network and battery usage on mobile devices. These technologies are aligned to determine how their enterprise mobile app is performing on any wireless network, and then improve performance through development tools.

Enabling and Facilitating Power Efficiency
What we need to remember here is that the typical software application developer does not create and develop apps with battery life in mind as their first core application need, so we now need to look to enabling and facilitating tools in this space to improve our ability to be "power efficient" so to speak.

The integration of AT&T's Application Resource Optimizer (ARO) with IBM's software development solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) is intended to expand the development capabilities of the IBM MobileFirst strategy. AT&T's ARO is a free, carrier-agnostic, open source diagnostic tool that enables developers to analyse the performance of their apps, whether they be business or consumer apps.

Diagnosing "Previously Undetectable" Enefficiencies
ARO enables developers to diagnose previously undetectable inefficiencies in app-to-network interaction. ARO can identify the events happening at multiple layers within an app and pinpoint inefficient resource usage. ARO can then make specific recommendations on how developers can optimize their apps to improve performance, speed and battery utilization while also minimizing the network impact.

HP also works in this sector with a selection of higher-level back office tools such as the HP Power Advisor offering. This Windows desktop software works as a tool to assist in the estimation of power consumption and proper selection of components including power supplies at a system, rack and multi-rack level.

As the back office now joins the front-end mobile office and the DevOps (developer operations) discipline increasingly extends its influence to make the total application lifecycle management proposition stronger and tighter throughout, then we will see nothing but an increased focus on power-related tools in the immediate future.

More Stories By Adrian Bridgwater

Adrian Bridgwater is a freelance journalist and corporate content creation specialist focusing on cross platform software application development as well as all related aspects software engineering, project management and technology as a whole.

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