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Balance of Power: Dynamic Thermal Management for Internet Data Centers

Sharma, Ratnesh K.; Bash, Cullen E.; Patel, Chandrakant D.; Friedrich, Richard J.; Chase, Jeffrey S.


Keyword(s): data center; thermal management; workload placement

Abstract: The advent of Internet-based applications and their resulting multi-tier distributed architecture has changed the focus of design for large-scale Internet computing. Internet server applications execute in a horizontally scalable topology across hundreds or thousands of commodity servers in an Internet data center. Increasing scale and power density have a significant impact on the thermal properties of the data center. Effective thermal management is essential to the robustness of mission-critical applications. This paper shows how Internet service architectures can address multi-system resource management and thermal management at the granularity of data centers. It presents a framework for thermal load balancing by applying load monitoring and dynamic workload placement to manage the thermal distribution within a data center. We propose local and regional policies for thermal control and evaluate them using simulation results from a detailed computational fluid dynamics model of a typical data center with a raised floor plenum. . The results demonstrate that dynamic thermal management based upon asymmetric workload placement can promote uniform temperature distribution that reduces local hot spots, quickly responds to thermal emergencies, reduces energy consumption costs, reduces initial cooling system capital costs and improves equipment reliability.

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