Author Topic: Server Consolidation: An Approach to Make Data Centers Energy Efficient & Green  (Read 2455 times)

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Author : Mueen Uddin, Azizah Abdul Rahman
International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 1, Issue 1, October-2010
ISSN 2229-5518

Data centers are the building blocks of any IT business organization, providing capabilities of centralized storage, backups, management, networking and dissemination of data in which the mechanical, lighting, electrical and computing systems are designed for maximum energy efficiency and minimum environmental impact [1]. Data centers are found in nearly every sector of the economy, ranging from financial services, media, high-tech, universities, government institutions, and many others. They use and operate data centers to aid business processes, information management and communication functions [2]. Due to rapid growth in the size of the data centers there is a continuous increase in the demand for both the physical infrastructure and IT equipments, resulting in continuous increase in energy consumption. Data center IT equipment consists of many individual devices like Storage devices, Servers, chillers, generators, cooling towers and many more. But Servers are the main consumers of energy because they are in huge number and their size continuously increases with the increase in the size of data centers. As new servers are being added continuously into data centers without considering the proper utilization of already installed servers, it will cause an unwanted and unavoidable increase in the energy consumption, as well as increase in physical infrastructure like over-sizing of heating and cooling equipments. This increased consumption of energy causes an increase in the production of green house gases which are hazardous for environmental health. Hence it not only consumes space, energy, but also cost environmental stewardship. Virtualization technology is now becoming an important advancement in IT especially for business organizations and has become a top to bottom overhaul of the computing industry. Virtualization combines or divides the computing resources of a server based environment to provide different operating environments using different methodologies and techniques like hardware and software partitioning or aggregation, partial or complete machine simulation, emulation and time sharing [3].

It enables running two or more operating systems simultaneously on a single machine. Virtual machine monitor (VMM) or hypervisor is a software that provides platform to host multiple operating systems running concurrently and sharing different resources among each other to provide services to the end users depending on the service levels defined before the processes [4]. Virtualization and server consolidation techniques are proposed to increase the utilization of underutilized servers so as to decrease the energy consumption by data centers and hence reducing the carbon footprints [4]. Section 2 provides a detailed background of the problem and emphasizes the need for implementing virtualization technology to save energy and cost. Section 3 describes the solution of the problem and proposes a methodology of categorizing the resources of data center into different resource pools, and analysis of the results to prove the benefits of server consolidation. Section 4 describes the process of implementing virtualization technology in a data center. In the last conclusions and recommendations are given.

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