The DOLFIN high-level objectives for improving Data Centre energy efficiency and for stabilizing smart grids are specified in the following qualified Strategic Objectives (SO):
SO-1. Data Centre energy Consumption Optimisation Platform (eCOP).
The eCOP will provide for continuous monitoring, energy benchmarking, dynamic control and adaptive optimisation of the Data Centre infrastructure, including ICT and HVAC equipment. DOLFIN will create a components/modules utilisation database of the ICT infrastructure, either by directly collecting utilisation information from the ICT devices or by interfacing with existing management operation systems. For the ICT devices supporting standardised management interfaces, eCOP will interact with the established management system and collect monitoring data. The Data Centre eCOP platform will also support the definition of energy policies applicable on the ICT and HVAC infrastructure of the Data Centre. An energy policy will define the conditions under which it will be applied and the actions that will be performed.
SO-2. Energy-conscious Synergetic Data Centres.
DOLFIN will provide a monitoring framework for the dynamic, service-effective and energy-efficient monitoring of all the Virtual Machines in a data centre and provide a flexible and energy-aware framework for the allocation and reallocation of virtual machines in a data centre, which will be used to optimise the demands across a group of co-operating Data Centres. DOLFIN foresees a group of energy-aware Data Centres, operating in geographically dispersed locations, in a collaborative manner. Over this group, DOLFIN will design, implement, and deploy a solution that will allow the dynamic reallocation of the workload and Virtual Machines to Data Centres, where ICT resources and/or cooling facilities are more energy/cost effective (e.g., they employ solar energy during daytime across different time zones, have more efficient cooling system due to climate conditions, etc), without compromising the established SLA.
SO-3. Smart-Grid Energy stabilisation.
DOLFIN data centers will be inter-connected with the smart grid network, providing responses on the changing demands for energy. In this respect, DOLFIN will contribute in energy stabilisation of the power distribution system. More particularly, DOLFIN will respond to the smart grid demands by lowering its power consumption, within the limits of the Data Centre infrastructure, provided that SLAs are still honoured, or by transferring workload to synergetic Data Centres, which are located in areas where the power distribution system is not overloaded and have available ICT resources.
SO-4. Heat absorption.
A large portion of the energy consumed by a Data Centre, especially when no or limited energy management strategies are applied, is simply wasted as heat. Additional energy is required and consumed through the air-conditioning system, so as to equalise the heat. Considering that water is a much better coolant that the air, DOLFIN is targeting to deliver a prototype cooling system for servers that is based on the utilisation of cold water. This system will act as a complementary mechanism to the ICT power management policies applied and contribute further to energy efficiency. Based on the prototype, our target is to extrapolate the saving that can be achieved when such an approach is applied to the majority of the ICT devices within a Data Centre. The prototype can significantly advance the green capabilities of the new Data Centre that GRNET is building close to a power-production hydro-electric plant facility and where water from the nearby river is already planned to be used to cool the equipment within the Data Centre.
SO-5. Energy-aware SLA modelling and negotiation.
DOLFIN will research and propose business models and a technical framework for online SLA negotiation, taking into account not only the dimension of the quality of offered services, but also the energy expected to be consumed, while providing a certain level of service quality, together with the respective cost. In order to sustain a high performance SLA, which involves high cost, an equally high energy load will have to be consumed. However, if the offered workload is, on the average, much lower than the maximum workload anticipated in the SLA, then a large portion of the energy consumed is actually wasted, without producing any useful service results.
SO-6. Influential contribution to standard and industry bodies on energy consumption measurements, revealing the energy and environmental footprint of a Data Centre.
DOLFIN has already identified a number of standardisation organisations whose work we will try to actively influence, based on the architectural directions, the prototypes, and results of the project. In this respect, the project is targeting to interact and contribute to IETF Energy Management (Eman) working group, ETSI Technical Committee “Environmental Engineering” (TC-EE), the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres, and the ITU-T Future Networks group.
SO-7. Validate and demonstrate the energy consumption reductions that can be achieved.
To this end, the project will provide a clear list of actions that can contribute in reducing the energy footprint of a Data Centre