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Greening Internet-Scale Distributed Networks Using Renewables

06 Sep
Wednesday, 09/06/2017 10:00am to 12:00pm
Computer Science Building, Room 151
Ph.D. Dissertation Proposal Defense
Speaker: Vani Gupta

"Greening Internet-Scale Distributed Networks Using Renewables"

Internet-scale Distributed Networks (IDNs) are large distributed systems that are comprised of hundreds of thousands of servers located in hundreds of data centers around the world. A canonical example of an IDN is a content delivery network (CDN) that delivers content to users from a large global deployment of servers around the world. IDNs consume massive amounts of energy and their energy requirements are projected to increase significantly in the future. With carbon emissions from data centers increasing every year, energy solutions for data centers powered by renewables are critical for the sustainability of data centers and for the environment.

In this talk, I will present research on the optimal provisioning of solar panels to help green IDNs. A net-zero IDN produces as much energy from renewables (green energy) as it needs to entirely off-set its non-renewable energy (brown energy) consumption from the grid. I will present algorithms to help minimize the number of solar panels provisioned for net-zero IDNs. I will also present empirical results of applying these algorithms to a real-world scenario using load traces from Akamai's CDN and PVWatts solar data. Secondly, I will present work on the potential benefits of using open air cooling (OAC) to reduce the energy usage as well as the capital costs incurred by an IDN for cooling. IDNs consume a significant amount of energy to cool their infrastructure. I will present research to incorporate OAC into the IDN architecture, and empirically evaluate its efficacy using load traces from Akamai's global CDN and global weather data from NOAA. Finally, to further the goal of greening IDNs, I will present proposed work to study the benefits of using OAC and solar energy in conjunction with each other. Using a combination of these two technologies, we hope to further reduce energy consumption and to minimize the carbon footprint of an IDN.

Advisors: Prashant Shenoy & Ramesh Sitaraman