Sensing Data Centers for Energy Efficiency

Jie Liu and Andreas Terzis


Data centers are large energy consumers today and their consumption is

expected to increase further, driven by the growth in cloud services. The large costs

and the environmental impact of this consumption have motivated data center

operators to optimize data center operations. We argue that one of the underlying

reasons for the low energy utilization is the lack of visibility into a data center's

highly dynamic operating conditions. Wireless sensor networks promise to remove

this veil of uncertainty by delivering large volumes of data collected at high spatial

and temporal fifidelities. The paper summarizes data center operations in order to

describe the parameters that a data center sensing network would need to collect

and motivate the challenges that such a network would face. We present technical

approaches for the problems of data collection and management and close with an

overview of Data Center Genome, an end-to-end data center sensing system.


Publication typeArticle
Published inPhilosophical Transactions of The Royal Society A. January 13, 2012 370 1958 136-157
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