GAMES - Green Active Management of Energy in IT Service centres

With the increasing digitisation of business processes, like online banking, digital entertainment and e-health in particular, data centre industry is in the midst of a great expansion driven by increased demand for computing capacity to support business growth. As an example, worldwide data centres CO2 emissions are equivalent already to about half of the total airlines’ CO2 emissions and are expected to overcome the 40% of Total Cost of Ownership of worldwide IT by 2012. Data centre electricity consumption accounts for almost 2% of the world production and their overall carbon emissions are greater than both Argentina and the Netherlands.

Since computing demand and electricity prices rise, posing new environmental concerns, and are becoming scarcer and scarcer resources, energy consumption of IT systems and data centre energy efficiency are expected to become a priority for the industry. Despite the fact that many stakeholders have been undertaking significant efforts in delivering new yet more energy effective IT equipment, allowing significant cost and energy savings, unfortunately the problem of the energy efficiency of the Information Systems as a whole has not been properly addressed so far.

Green Computing is a new discipline and practice aimed at designing and using computing resources in an environmentally-aware way. It was originated more than a decade ago with the main goal of reducing energy consumption of computing resources, yet maintaining a clear focus on the impact on the environment. Although much progress has been made by Green Computing, making new chips and servers available which undoubtedly consume less energy, in most cases improvements in efficiency are devoured by increasing demand for computing power and capacity, driven by new digitised business processes and services.

The GAMES project aims at developing a set of innovative methodologies, metrics, Open Source ICT services and tools for the active management of energy efficiency of IT Service Centres. It will focus on the following two aspects:

  • The co-design of energy-aware information systems and their underlying services and IT service centre architectures in order to satisfy users requirements (Quality of Service), service performance, context, addressing energy efficiency and controlling emissions. This will be carried out through the definition of suitable Green Performance Indicators (GPI) able to evaluate if and to what extent a given service and workload configuration will affect the carbon footprint emissions’ levels.
  • The run-time management of IT Service Centre energy efficiency, which will exploit the adaptive behaviour of the system at run time, both at the service/application and IT architecture levels (including IT components like servers, and storage), considering the interactions of these two aspects in an overall unifying vision.

In particular, GAMES will advance the current scientific and technology state-of-the-art in energy efficiency for IT service centres in the following domains:

  • GAMES will create and make available an integrated methodology (GAMES co-design methodology) for the shared design of “green IT service centres”, trading-off Quality of Services, users’ business and functional requirements against energy efficiency and emissions.
  • GAMES will complement and extend one of the most leading-edge Open Source data centre monitoring tools (NAGIOS) with the capacity of assessing, monitoring and controlling, both in a reactive and proactive way, even in real time, energy costs and emissions (GAMES Energy Efficiency Tool) of alternative yet viable options/configurations for distributing services among the virtualised machines, workload among servers and storage devices as well as balancing power against heat/temperature at facility level
  • The GAMES web-tool will be enriched with advanced knowledge-based and Information extraction features (GAMES Knowledge & Mining Module) by originally combining Data mining, Semantic and Context Management technologies for closely aligning users business requirements for power demand with historical trend and real available resources
  • The GAMES tooling framework will provide an adaptive control feature (GAMES Monitoring & Adaptive Control Infrastructure), matching the planned behaviour with the output dynamically provided by the energy sensing and monitoring infrastructure, the user context and historical patterns, for evaluating if and to a what extent the adopted course of actions will contribute to effectively manage the energy costs
  • GAMES will define comprehensive energy efficiency assessment metrics (GAMES Green Performance Indicators) which will be an enabler to combine energy efficiency facility features with IT infrastructure and business/application energy features.

Project Details

Funding AgencyEU-FP7
Runtime01.01.2010 - 30.06.2012