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Leveraging Renewable Energy in Data Centers

Ricardo Bianchini Department of Computer Science


Collaborators: Inigo Goiri, Jordi Guitart (UPC/BSC), Md. Haque, William Katsak, Kien Le, Thu D. Nguyen, and Jordi Torres (UPC/BSC)

Outline
DC energy usage and carbon footprint

Reducing carbon with renewables


Our approach

Parasol: our solar micro-data center


Software for leveraging solar energy

Current and future works


Conclusions

Motivation
Data centers = machine rooms to giant warehouses Consume massive amounts of energy (electricity)
90 270 240 210 180 150 120 90 60 30 0

Billion KWh/year

60 30
0

Billion KWh/year

2000

2005

2010

2000

2005

2010

Electricity consumption of US DCs [JK11]

Electricity consumption of WW DCs [JK11]

Motivation
Electricity comes mostly from burning fossil fuels
100% 80% Others Renewables Nuclear 120 116

34th 35th

MMT/year

60% 40% 20% 0%

112 108 104 100


Nigeria Data Centers Czech Rep.

Natural Gas
Coal

US World Electricity sources in US & WW [DOE10]

CO2 of world-wide DCs [Mankoff08]

Can we use renewables to reduce this footprint?

Outline
DC energy usage and carbon footprint

Reducing carbon with renewables: 4 approaches


Our approach

Parasol: our solar micro-data center


Software for leveraging solar energy

Current and future works


Conclusions

Greening DCs: Compensation approaches


Carbon offsets to compensate for brown energy use

Pros:
DC operator need not worry about renewable energy Encourages DC operators to conserve energy

Cons:
Offsets are sometimes purchased far away Offsets are an extra cost for businesses

Example: Cap-and-trade in the UK

Greening DCs: Grid-centric approaches


Pump renewables into the grid Pros:
If the grid is available, power is always available DC operator need not worry about renewable plants Plants can be placed at the best possible locations

Cons:
Power transmission can lead to 40% energy losses Certain renewable technologies are not scalable Dependence on the power grid or diesel generators

Example: Google buys wind power from NextEra

Greening DCs: Co-location approaches


Build data center near a renewable plant

Pros:
Reduced energy losses No dependence on the grid

Cons:
Location may not be good for DCs Power may have already been committed

Example: Microsoft builds DC near hydro plant in OR

Greening DCs: Distributed generation


Self-generation: Build your own renewable plant

Pros:
Reduced energy losses Can operate during grid outages without diesel generators Capital costs can be recovered for lower energy costs

Cons:
DC operator needs to build and maintain the plant Best places for a DC are often not the same as for plants

Example: Apple is building a 20MW solar array in NC

Outline
DC energy usage and carbon footprint

Reducing carbon with renewables


Our approach and research challenge

Parasol: our solar micro-data center


Software for leveraging solar energy

Current and future works


Conclusions

Our approach and challenge


Self-generation with solar and/or wind Small and medium DCs
Capital cost is lower Space required is smaller Easier to install and maintain

Solar and wind are clean


1000 900 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 g CO2e per KWh over lifetime

[Sovacool08]

Massive environmental disruption

Waste lasts for thousands of years

Solar is more available in the US


Wind Solar

Cost of solar energy is decreasing


Grid electricity price (2011 c/kWh)
14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 25

PV panel cost (2011 $/W)


20
15 10 5 0

2001

1989

1997

1999

2003

2005

2007

2009

2011

1980

1983

1986

1992

1995

1998

2001

2004

2007

[EIA12]

[Solarbuzz12]

2010

Cost of solar energy is decreasing


Grid electricity price (2011 c/kWh)
14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 25

PV panel cost (2011 $/W)


20
15 10 5 0

2001

1989

1997

1999

2003

2005

2007

2009

2011

1980

1983

1986

1992

1995

1998

2001

2004

2007

[EIA12]

[Solarbuzz12]

Accounting for inverters, we may pay ~$5/W in NJ for Parasol With incentives, the cost may become ~$2/W

2010

Main challenge: supply of power is variable!


Mitigation approaches are not ideal
Batteries and net metering

We need to match the energy demand to the supply Many research questions:
What kinds of DC workloads are amenable? What kinds of techniques can we apply? How well can we predict solar availability?

Building hardware & software to answer questions

Outline
DC energy usage and carbon footprint

Reducing carbon with renewables


Our approach

Parasol: our solar micro-data center


Software for leveraging solar energy

Current and future works


Conclusions

Parasol
Research platform
Solar-powered computing Software to exploit renewables within and across DCs Tradeoff between renewables, batteries, and grid energy Free cooling Wimpy servers Solid-state drives Full monitoring: resources, power, temperature, air

Parasol details
Installed on the roof Steel structure
Container to host the IT 16 solar panels: 3 kW

Backup power
Batteries: 32 kWh Power grid

IT equipment
2 racks 64 Atom servers (so far): 1.7 kW 2 switches and 3 PDUs

Cooling
Free cooling: 110 W or 400 W Air conditioning: 2 kW Heating

You dont see this everyday

Container and solar panels

Electrical and cooling

IT equipment

Outline
DC energy usage and carbon footprint

Reducing carbon with renewables


Our approach

Parasol: our solar micro-data center


Software for leveraging solar energy

Current and future works


Conclusions

Green DC software
Smart energy and cost management GreenSlot [Supercomputing11]
Schedule batch jobs (SLURM)

GreenHadoop [Eurosys12]
Schedule data-processing jobs (MapReduce)

Overall approach
Predict green energy availability
Weather forecasts

Schedule jobs
Maximize green energy use If green not available, consume cheap brown electricity

May delay jobs but must meet deadlines Manage data availability if necessary Send idle servers to sleep to save energy

GreenSlot behavior
Schedule: J1, J2

Power

Nodes

J2 J2

J1 J1 J2 Brown electricity price Job deadline Scheduling window

Now

Time

GreenSlot behavior
Schedule: J3, J4

Power

Nodes

J2

J4
J1 J3 J3 J4 Brown electricity price Job deadline Scheduling window Time

Now

GreenSlot behavior
Schedule: J4 Weather prediction was wrong

Power

Nodes

J2

J4
J1 J3 J4 Now Brown electricity price Job deadline Scheduling window Time

GreenSlot behavior
Schedule: J5

Power

Nodes

J2

J4
J1 J3 J5 J5 Now Brown electricity price Job deadline Scheduling window Time

Energy prediction vs actual


2 1.5 1 0.5 0 Energy (kWh) Prediction Actual

Median error (%)

20 15 10 5 0 0 6 12 18 24 30 36 42 48

Hours ahead

Energy prediction vs actual


cloud cover 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 Energy (kWh) rain thunderstorm Prediction Actual

Median error (%)

20 15 10 5 0 0 6 12 18 24 30 36 42 48

Hours ahead

GreenSlot for BSC workload


Conventional

26 kWh 75 kWh $8.00 24% cost savings

GreenSlot

38 kWh 63 kWh $6.06 -24%

GreenSlot for BSC workload


120 100 80 Most Best Average Worst

60
40 20 0 Green energy increase Cost savings

Outline
DC energy usage and carbon footprint

Reducing carbon with renewables


Our approach

Parasol: our solar micro-data center


Software for leveraging solar energy

Current and future works


Conclusions

Current and future works


DC placement with probabilistic guarantees

GreenNebula
Smart management of energy sources Green SLAs Tradeoff between performance and green energy use Collect and make sense of the monitoring data

Conclusions
Topic is really exciting and has societal impact

Lots left to do
We would like to see more people working on it

Leveraging Renewable Energy in Data Centers


Ricardo Bianchini Department of Computer Science
Collaborators: Inigo Goiri, Jordi Guitart (UPC/BSC), Md. Haque, William Katsak, Kien Le, Thu D. Nguyen, and Jordi Torres (UPC/BSC)

Parasol: Lessons learned


Not as easy as it seems Not as cheap as it seems Doing the complete homework (design) is not easy Hard to deal with facilities people (with exceptions!) Hard to deal with engineering companies (ditto) Placing it on the roof has extra cost, but is very cool Flexibility adds complexity Monitoring adds complexity Mistakes all around Delays, delays, and more delays