Green Cloud Computing: Data Center Case Study

Green Cloud Computing: Data Center Case Study

Ahmed Abdul Hassan Al-Fatlawi (Arts, Sciences and Technology University, Lebanon) and Seifedine Kadry (American University of the Middle East, Kuwait)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5864-6.ch021
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Green Cloud computing is envisioned to achieve not only efficient processing and utilization of computing but also to minimize energy consumption. This is essential for ensuring that the future growth of Cloud computing is sustainable. Otherwise, Cloud computing with increasingly pervasive client devices interacting with data centers will cause an enormous escalation of energy usage. To address this problem, data center resources need to be managed in an energy-efficient manner to drive Green Cloud computing. The management of power consumption in data centers has led to a number of substantial improvements in energy efficiency. Techniques such as ON/OFF mode on server of data centers improve the energy efficiency of Cloud computing. In this chapter, the authors present how to calculate power consumption in Cloud computing and how power consumption in a data center can be reduced when its storage is used in a way that decreases the time needed to access it.
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Energy Efficiency

Public concern about environmental sustainability and corporate stewardship has grown steadily in recent years. In particular, the impact of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on climate change and the role of fossil fuel electricity generation as the largest source of GHG emissions in the U.S. have attracted substantial attention. Emissions associated with electricity consumption are often a significant barrier to improving the environmental profile of many organizations because the average amount of CO2 emitted per unit of electricity consumed is very high.

IT and telecom firms, many known for their progressive, game-changing strategies, have led the charge in reducing energy use and associated emissions. Several of these companies have focused their efforts on data centers, which contribute significantly to the companies' total environmental footprints. Data centers are facilities that house equipment to store, manage, and distribute digital information. They already make up about 1.5% of national electricity use in the U.S. and account for an annual GHG impact of at least 76 million metric tons of CO2. The energy and GHG impacts of data centers are expected to more than double by 2020.

An increasing number of commercial, government, and non-profit organizations are cutting their energy use and associated carbon footprints by improving the energy efficiency of their data centers. Organizations that reduce their carbon emissions by improving efficiency, rather than by purchasing RECs or carbon offsets, are often perceived as taking more direct responsibility for their environmental impact. Google and Yahoo!, two leaders in green IT, have both shifted to this efficiency-focused approach, prompting many other organizations to also invest in energy efficiency solutions for their data center operations.

Data center electricity consumption represents about 1.5% of total U.S. electricity load, and this share is growing quickly. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that U.S. data center energy consumption doubled between 2000 and 2006, and it projects that consumption has since doubled again,” Emissions will rise in step with consumption, and one estimate projects that global data center emissions will quadruple from 2007 levels by 2020. Energy-intensive data centers can be a substantial barrier to achieving green operations at many companies. Implementing data center efficiency solutions can protect and sometimes enhance an organization's image. However, improving data center efficiency is now more commonly perceived as a “must-do” rather than as an admirable goal. Greenpeace recently voiced this view in its criticism of Facebook's new ultra-efficient data center in Oregon. The environmental organization wrote a letter to Facebook saying, “Efficiency is certainly important, but is only the beginning of taking responsibility for your rapidly growing energy and environmental footprint.”

Key Terms in this Chapter

Grid Computing: Interconnected computer systems where the machines utilize the same resources collectively.

Access Time: The time from the start of one storage device access to the time when the next access can be started.

Energy Efficiency: Using less energy to provide the same level of energy service.

Cloud Computing: A model for delivering information technology services in which resources are retrieved from the Internet through Web-based tools and applications, rather than a direct connection to a server.

Green Computing: Green computing or green IT refers to environmentally sustainable computing or IT.

Power Usage: Amount of energy consumed in a process or system, or by an organization or society.

Extendible Hash: A type of hash system that treats a hash as a bit string and uses a tire for bucket lookup.

Data Center: A facility equipped with or connected to one or more computers, used for processing or transmitting data.

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