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USENIX 2005 Annual Technical Conference, General Track — Abstract

Pp. 61–75 of the Proceedings

Making Scheduling "Cool": Temperature-Aware Workload Placement in Data Centers

Justin Moore and Jeff Chase, Duke University; Parthasarathy Ranganathan and Ratnesh Sharma, Hewlett-Packard Labs


Trends towards consolidation and higher-density computing configurations make the problem of heat management one of the critical challenges in emerging data centers. Conventional approaches to addressing this problem have focused at the facilities level to develop new cooling technologies or optimize the delivery of cooling. In contrast to these approaches, our paper explores an alternate dimension to address this problem, namely a systems-level solution to control the heat generation through temperature-aware workload placement.

We first examine a theoretic thermodynamic formulation that uses information about steady state hot spots and cold spots in the data center and develop real-world scheduling algorithms. Based on the insights from these results, we develop an alternate approach. Our new approach leverages the non-intuitive observation that the source of cooling inefficiencies can often be in locations spatially uncorrelated with its manifested consequences; this enables additional energy savings. Overall, our results demonstrate up to a factor of two reduction in annual data center cooling costs over location-agnostic workload distribution, purely through software optimizations without the need for any costly capital investment.

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