HiPEAC Research Stay by Marina Zapater

Workload and cooling aware optimization techniques to reduce the energy consumption in Data Centers

Marina ZapaterUniversidad Politécnica de Madrid & Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Host Institution: Performance and Energy-Aware Computing Laboratory (PeacLab) at Boston University

Energy efficiency in Data Centers has been and continues to be an important research challenge. Data Centers are easily found in every sector of the worldwide economy and their power consumption has exhibited an unsustainable increase in recent years, mainly due to data globalization and computer ubiquity. The focus of my research is the development of thermal-aware optimization policies to reduce the energy consumption and environmental impact of data centers, contributing to placing them on a more scalable curve. I am currently a PhD candidate at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), and my research is in collaboration with Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), in Spain, where I am also a part-time lecturer.

On Summer 2012 I visited Prof. Ayse K. Coskun at the Performance and Energy-Aware Computing Laboratory (PeacLab) at Boston University, where we collaborated on the development of leakage and cooling-aware energy optimization policies at the server level. On Fall 2014, thanks to a HiPEAC collaboration grant I was able to visit the PeacLab group again for a three-month period. During my stay at the PeacLab group we have been able to extend our previous work on the server level to the Data Center scope. In particular, we have examined the trade-offs in terms of power for state-of-the-art highly efficient datacenter scenarios. To create and calibrate our models, the PeacLab group provided access to data from the “Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center” (MGHPCC) a high-density cooling-optimized data center that supplies research computing to Boston University, Harvard, MIT, Northeastern University, and UMass. Our work relies on these models to propose workload allocation and cooling management strategies to further reduce the overall energy costs of these facilities.



This HiPEAC collaboration grant has been a great opportunity to strengthen the bonds between the three institutions involved. As a PhD student, visiting a research group that aims to deliver such high-quality research, and that has so many collaborations, is a very rewarding experience. Research at the PeacLab group is strongly aligned with my work and I believe that this project has brought new perspectives to the development of my PhD thesis. I am very grateful to HiPEAC for granting me this opportunity, and I am certain that the collaboration between UPM, UCM and BU will keep on going in the future. I would like to thank my advisors, Prof. José Luis Ayala, and Prof. José Manuel Moya for making this collaboration possible, my host Prof. Ayse K. Coskun for her time and guidance, as well as all the members of the PeacLab group at Boston University.