GEYSER at DataCloud Europe 2015: Data Centres getting smarter

By Maikel Bouricius, project manager at Green IT Amsterdam

DataCloud Europe, formerly Datacentres Europe, is known for years as the one of the most high-profile conferences for the data centre industry in Europe. The audience is management or board level and therefore it is a nice opportunity to spot trends and developments concerning the industry. It has been said DataCloud is the place industry deals are being made.

Last year there were still talks on cooling technology solutions and other initiatives data centres can take to improve their energy efficiency. However, this year’s conference showed a new trend: data centres are getting smarter. Not only an entire new track was introduced on smart cities and innovation, but many of the showcased solutions on the exhibition floor were power management tools and other software solutions for data centre management. Take Intel for example; their presentation was a call for action, pushing their DCM solutions for power management to enable energy aware and smart decisions, like power based job scheduling.

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GEYSER: Value for Data Centre Operators

by Dr. Terpsi Velivassaki, Telecom Engineer/Researcher at SingularLogic S.A. Currently, her main research interests include cloud networking, automation and energy efficiency.

In GEYSER we work closely with urban Data Centre (DC) operators, in order to provide an integrated solution for DCs offering DC-wide awareness and actuation capabilities. At the same time, urban DCs are able to gradually integrate their energy management operations with their local smart grid, exploiting opportunities arising in the context of a Smart Neighborhood. Consequently, GEYSER contributes to decentralization of power supply and demand, offering energy and cost efficiency to GEYSER-enabled DCs. This is achieved in two steps: exploiting both DC and smart grid information in two ways: in scheduling IT and non-IT energy consuming tasks, as well as in energy provision to or procurement from the smart grid; the latter is enacted via energy trading activities in the local GEYSER Marketplace.

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Introducing the GEYSER Optimization Strategies Simulator

Dr. Tudor Cioara, is an active member Distributed Systems Research Laboratory of the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca. In 2012 obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science with the thesis "Context aware adaptive systems with applicability in green service centers." Research areas in which he is currently working refers to Context Awareness, Green IT, Ambient Assistant Living and Artificial Intelligence.

GEYSER aims to contribute to the on-going efforts of integrating urban data centres to their local smart grids and cities. As such within the project we view data centres as active energy load resources in urban environments that can leverage on the local green energy and ancillary services markets.  

To that end, we have been working on the GEYSER Optimization Engine: a tool that helps data centres exploit their high demand flexibility to provide an optimal capacity and operational planning; in doing so data centres can shape their power consumption profile to meet various objectives in collaboration with requests coming from the local grid and thus allowing them to participate in demand response programs.

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Enhancing Data Centre Control over Energy Use with Real-Time Energy Context Awareness

Anthony Schoofs is currently CTO of Wattics Ltd, and is behind WSNbuzz.com, a blog covering news on smart grid, smart cities and green technology.

Cloud applications are becoming an increasingly prevalent model for delivery of services to individuals and organisations around the world. The widespread use of this model, in turn, translates into an increased need for Data Centres, establishing them as one of today’s major consumers of electricity and as one of tomorrow’s threats to grid supply stability.

The energy consumption of Data Centres has become a significant issue for both the industry and policy makers. Energy efficiency best practices are already widely adopted in the design and choice of technology for controlling the cooling of computing infrastructures, for monitoring energy use and discovering inefficiencies, and for supporting integration of renewable energy generation locally. The impact of these, however, is not sufficient to counterbalance the continuously increasing need for more Data Centres and greater electricity consumption.

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The Benefits of the Local Energy Marketplace

by Dr. Terpsi Velivassaki, Telecom Engineer/Researcher at SingularLogic S.A. Currently, her main research interests include cloud networking, automation and energy efficiency.

Distributed energy resources (DER) such as photovoltaic panels or windmills have become an essential part of modern ecosystems, promoted by the need for cleaner energy generation and the ever-increasing energy demand, as well as the expected bill savings. Energy efficiency and green energy generation have been endorsed as routes towards dealing with both today’s unmet energy demand and environmental alarms.

The challenge now is to benefit the most from green energy - which necessarily coexists with brown energy in the (smart) electricity grid - without degrading the end-user Quality of Experience. Equally challenging is the exploitation of energy generated within Data Centers (DCs), as heat recovery and power management mechanisms cannot impact the Data Center SLA metrics.

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Using Load Migration to achieve Energy Efficiency in Networked Data Centres

Seán Murphy is a Senior Research in the ICCLab at ZHAW. Seán’s main interest is in energy efficiency in cloud computing but he does wear some other hats within ICCLab, including some of the commercialization activities and working on the FP7 XiFi project.

One aspect of the GEYSER project is to investigate approaches to maximizing energy efficiency by shifting load within the Data Centre. Load shifting can happen in two dimensions: time-shifting, where non time critical workload is moved from one time to another and space-shifting, where workload is moved from one server to another. Space-shifting can be further subdivided into intra-DC space-shifting and inter-DC space-shifting. Both of these are of interest within GEYSER, albeit with more emphasis on the latter. Ultimately, load shifting has the potential to achieve energy efficiencies by moving workload to a time or place where there is less dependency on brown energy.

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GEYSER - Green nEtworked data centers as energY proSumers in smaRt city environments
Work partially supported by European Community under the SMARTCITIES-2013 call of the 7th FP for RTD - project GEYSER, contract 609211.
The Author is solely responsible for the content of this paper. It does not represent the opinion of the European Community, and the European Community is not responsible for any
use that might be made of data appearing therein.
 

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