A number of tools, blueprints, and other resources are being developed to help data centre designers, operators, and technology suppliers, to build and run more energy efficient facilities and equipment.
“Factors such as rising fuel prices, stricter environmental legislation and constrained credit amid the financial crisis are contributing to higher capital and operational costs for data centre owners and operators,” said Andrew Donoghue, senior analyst, 451 Research (part of the CoolEmAll consortium). “The tools and research that will result from the CoolEmAll project will help the data centre industry to meet some of these challenges, and develop more efficient and sustainable facilities”.
The two main platforms that will result from the project are:
Simulation, Visualisation and Decision Support Toolkit (SVD Toolkit)
CoolEmAll’s main outcome will be the development of a Simulation, Visualisation and Decision Support Toolkit (SVD Toolkit). Data centre designers and operators can use the tools which make up the toolkit to simulate new and existing facilities taking into account various factors such as application profiles, hardware characteristics, management policies, and heat transfer. The SVD Toolkit also integrates hardware and workload simulation with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations.
The SVD Toolkit will be made up of sub-tools that are free to download at the CoolEmAll website.
The SVD Toolkit sub-tools include:
- Application Profiler - Enables the capture of application characteristics.
- Application Energy Consumption Estimation tool - Used to assess the impact that specific applications have on power usage of servers.
- Data Centre Measurement and Profiling tool – Used to build and verify data centre models along with a central database for comparison of real measurements with simulation results.
- Data Centre Workload and Resource Management Simulator (DCworms) - Provides results on how specific management policies, hardware configurations, intensity of workloads or application types affect the overall energy consumption of a data centre.
- Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation tool - Takes advantage of the open source solver OpenFoam to simulate airflow and heat-transfer behaviour for various data centre configurations and environmental-conditions.
- Metrics Calculator - Responsible for the assessment of the energy-efficiency and heat-efficiency of the facility based on common metrics as well as novel ones proposed by the project.
- Data Centre Visualisation tools - A web-based graphical user interface that includes 3D visualisation and detailed dashboards.
Data Centre Efficiency Building Blocks (DEBBs)
The other main outcome of the CoolEmAll project is a set of data centre building blocks that can be plugged into simulations. The building blocks contain hardware and thermodynamic models that can be used to simulate the complex interactions within a data centre. DEBBs, along with workload and application profiles, will be available in an open repository.
CollEmAll is now looking to connect with interested parties who may want to become early adopters of the software tools or contribute to the project in other ways.
CoolEmAll is a research project into data centre energy efficiency – an issue that European authorities see as a key part of the Europe 2020 strategy to promote energy efficiency across the region. The project began in 2011 and will run for 30 months until early 2014.
The seven members of the CoolEmAll consortium are Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Centre, The Toulouse IT Research Institute, High Performance Computing Centre University of Stuttgart, The Catalonia Institute for Energy Research, Atos, 451 Research and Christmann Informationstechnik.