Green Computing: Reducing Energy Cost and Carbon Footprint of Information Processing Systems

Our research aims to develop technical approaches for improving energy efficiency in the enterprise computing systems and data centers ranging from server-level power/thermal management to energy balancing and HVAC control in the data center to application software with builtin power tuning levers. This is a critically important topic with many different beneficiaries and players and excellent opportunities for research and development.

Keynote speech given at the 2010 International Workshop on IT and Future Society, Jeju Island, South Korea — Energy Efficient Enterprise Computing and Green Datacenters

Datacenters provide the supporting infrastructure for a wide range of economic activities based on digital information. As such, they are extremely important drivers of economic growth. They are also at the center of societal changes enabling new media for cyber-social interactions. However, the continued growth of datacenters is now hindered by their unsustainable and rising energy needs. Apart from datacenter energy consumption and associated costs, corporations and governments are also concerned about the environmental impact of datacenters, in terms of their CO2 footprint. In my talk I will describe a number of techniques for improving the energy efficiency of enterprise computing platforms and datacenters ranging from task scheduling and server consolidation to combined power and cooling optimizations and adaptive control algorithms built on a variety of mathematical optimization frameworks.

Lecture given at the 2009 SIGDA Design Automation Summer School — Energy-Efficient Computing

The increasing demand for higher processing power and storage capacity, along with the shift to high-density computing, is driving the energy expenses of data centers through the roof. A data center is a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems. Data centers sit at the center of the ICT ecosystem. Indeed, by the end of 2009, energy costs will emerge as the second-highest operating cost (behind labor) in 70% of data center facilities worldwide. According to an Environmental Protection Agency report, data centers in the US alone consumed about 61 billion kilowatt-hours in 2006 for a total electricity cost of about $4.5 billion. If current trends continue, this demand will double by 2012. In an energy-constrained world, this level of consumption is unsustainable and comes at increasingly unacceptable social and environmental costs. Data center energy efficiency has thus become a public policy concern and it is imperative that data centers implement efficient methods to minimize their energy use.