As reported by the European Climate Foundation in the next 40 years the Energy Consumption is expected to grow by 40% and the related Energy Costs will increase up to more than 90 milliard dollars.
If we look at the IT landscape, and the Data Center in particular, the 60% of overall energy which enters in a Data Center is used for Servers, Processors and Software. Unfortunately the energy losses are very high, because a large amount of the energy consumed is fixed, that means it does not depend on the output/service delivered. The remaining part of energy used inside of a Data Center is used for the cooling system, the Ups (Uninterruptible power system), and the energy distribution parts, all components which are necessary for the operating the overall system, but not directly involved in the output production.
Within this framework, IT managers, if supported by effective energy saving tools, will play more and more a key strategic role in understanding the impact of energy costs on the operational costs of the IT infrastructure, and in trading off IT choices, environmental company compliance and the energy costs.
The vision envisaged by the GAMES project is for a new generation of Energy-Efficient Adaptive Data Centres, in which the energy efficiency will be a primary issue to deal with, as well as the quality of the services delivered and IT resource utilisation and performance. These will be referred as Green IT Service Centre in the GAMES project jargon.
A Green IT Service Centre is both an infrastructure for executing business services and a repository for the storage, management, in which
- the available computing resources and the services delivered are shared by several different users within the framework of a cloud computing paradigm
- the mechanical, lighting, electrical and computing systems are designed for optimisation of energy consumption and minimum environmental impact.
Despite all the leading-edge IT equipment technology providers are going to provide Data Centres with highly modular and configurable processing and storage servers (like blade servers), allowing data centres a timely adaptation of the deployed resources to the cloud-oriented dynamic business demands provision, unfortunately the importance of the energy efficiency as a primary adaptation driver has been neglected so far.
Moreover current tools for measuring energy efficiency in Data Centres have been designed to operate in isolation, not taking into account all the interrelations between the different layers (business/applications, infrastructure, facility) and the effect of these interrelations on energy consumption.
The central innovations sustaining the GAMES vision are that for the first time, to our knowledge,
1) energy efficiency is considered to a full extent as primary objective to address within Data Centres both at design and at operation time
2) the energy efficiency of the IT Service Centres will be measured simultaneously at three different levels, trading-off 1) user and functional requirements and Quality of Services versus energy costs at business/application level 2) performance, expressed as physical resources workload and Service Level Agreement, against energy costs at IT infrastructure level, 3) HVAC and lighting versus the power required by the IT infrastructure and the business processes and application, as received by upper levels, at Facility level.