Temperature management in data centers: Why some (might) like it hot

Nosayba El-Sayed, Ioan A. Stefanovici, George Amvrosiadis, Andy A. Hwang, Bianca Schroeder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

87 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The energy consumed by data centers is starting to make up a significant fraction of the world's energy consumption and carbon emissions. A large fraction of the consumed energy is spent on data center cooling, which has motivated a large body of work on temperature management in data centers. Interestingly, a key aspect of temperature management has not been well understood: controlling the setpoint temperature at which to run a data center's cooling system. Most data centers set their thermostat based on (conservative) suggestions by manufacturers, as there is limited understanding of how higher temperatures will affect the system. At the same time, studies suggest that increasing the temperature setpoint by just one degree could save 2-5% of the energy consumption. This paper provides a multi-faceted study of temperature management in data centers. We use a large collection of field data from different production environments to study the impact of temperature on hardware reliability, including the reliability of the storage subsystem, the memory subsystem and server reliability as a whole. We also use an experimental testbed based on a thermal chamber and a large array of benchmarks to study two other potential issues with higher data center temperatures: the effect on server performance and power. Based on our findings, we make recommendations for temperature management in data centers, that create the potential for saving energy, while limiting negative effects on system reliability and performance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSIGMETRICS/Performance 2012 - Proceedings of the 2012 ACM SIGMETRICS/Performance, Joint International Conference on Measurement and Modeling of Computer Systems
Pages163-174
Number of pages12
Volume40
Edition1 SPEC. ISS.
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event12th Joint International Conference on Measurement and Modeling of Computer Systems, ACM SIGMETRICS/Performance 2012 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Jun 201215 Jun 2012

Other

Other12th Joint International Conference on Measurement and Modeling of Computer Systems, ACM SIGMETRICS/Performance 2012
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period11/6/1215/6/12

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Keywords

  • CPU
  • data center
  • DRAM
  • energy
  • fans
  • hard drive
  • LSE
  • memory
  • performance
  • reliability
  • temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications

Cite this

El-Sayed, N., Stefanovici, I. A., Amvrosiadis, G., Hwang, A. A., & Schroeder, B. (2012). Temperature management in data centers: Why some (might) like it hot. In SIGMETRICS/Performance 2012 - Proceedings of the 2012 ACM SIGMETRICS/Performance, Joint International Conference on Measurement and Modeling of Computer Systems (1 SPEC. ISS. ed., Vol. 40, pp. 163-174) https://doi.org/10.1145/2254756.2254778