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Zapater Sancho, Marina


Moya Fernández, José Manuel; Ayala Rodrigo, José Luis

Research area

Energy Efficiency

Affiliated Research Center

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Data centers are easily found in every sector of the worldwide economy. They consist of tens of thousands of servers, serving millions of users globally and 24-7. In the last years, e-Science applications such e-Health or Smart Cities have experienced a significant development. The need to deal efficiently with the computational needs of next-generation applications together with the increasing demand for higher resources in traditional applications has facilitated the rapid proliferation and growing of data centers. A drawback to this capacity growth has been the rapid increase of the energy consumption of these facilities. In 2010, data center electricity represented 1.3% of all the electricity use in the world. In year 2012 alone, global data center power demand grew 63% to 38GW. A further rise of 17% to 43GW was estimated in 2013. Moreover, data centers are responsible for more than 2% of total carbon dioxide emissions. This PhD Thesis addresses the energy challenge by proposing proactive and reactive thermal and energy-aware optimization techniques that contribute to place data centers on a more scalable curve. This work develops energy models and uses the knowledge about the energy demand of the workload to be executed and the computational and cooling resources available at data center to optimize energy consumption. Moreover, data centers are considered as a crucial element within their application framework, optimizing not only the energy consumption of the facility, but the global energy consumption of the application. The main contributors to the energy consumption in a data center are the computing power drawn by IT equipment and the cooling power needed to keep the servers within a certain temperature range that ensures safe operation. Because of the cubic relation of fan power with fan speed, solutions based on over-provisioning cold air into the server usually lead to inefficiencies. On the other hand, higher chip temperatures lead to higher leakage power because of the exponential dependence of leakage on temperature. Moreover, workload characteristics as well as allocation policies also have an important impact on the leakage-cooling tradeoffs. The first key contribution of this work is the development of power and temperature models that accurately describe the leakage-cooling tradeoffs at the server level, and the proposal of strategies to minimize server energy via joint cooling and workload management from a multivariate perspective. When scaling to the data center level, a similar behavior in terms of leakage-temperature tradeoffs can be observed. As room temperature raises, the efficiency of data room cooling units improves. However, as we increase room temperature, CPU temperature raises and so does leakage power. Moreover, the thermal dynamics of a data room exhibit unbalanced patterns due to both the workload allocation and the heterogeneity of computing equipment. The second main contribution is the proposal of thermal- and heterogeneity-aware workload management techniques that jointly optimize the allocation of computation and cooling to servers. These strategies need to be backed up by flexible room level models, able to work on runtime, that describe the system from a high level perspective. Within the framework of next-generation applications, decisions taken at this scope can have a dramatical impact on the energy consumption of lower abstraction levels, i.e. the data center facility. It is important to consider the relationships between all the computational agents involved in the problem, so that they can cooperate to achieve the common goal of reducing energy in the overall system. The third main contribution is the energy optimization of the overall application by evaluating the energy costs of performing part of the processing in any of the different abstraction layers, from the node to the data center, via workload management and off-loading techniques. In summary, the work presented in this PhD Thesis, makes contributions on leakage and cooling aware server modeling and optimization, data center thermal modeling and heterogeneityaware data center resource allocation, and develops mechanisms for the energy optimization for next-generation applications from a multi-layer perspective.