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HP lab test claims to lower data center power

Posted: 01 Jun 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:data centers? x86 servers? renewable energy sources?

HP Labs engineers claim to have demonstrated software in a research setting that significantly lowers power consumption for large data centers.

The company will test the tools in a full production data center at Hewlett-Packard and work on turning them into products that could ship with HP's container-class systems.

The HP Net-Zero Energy data center techniques cut total power use by 30 percent and reduced use of the utility grid by nearly 80 percent in HP Labs tests. The techniques are implemented in a suite of Linux software tools that run on x86 servers and geared for data centers that use a local renewable energy source in addition to the public grid.

The HP software predicts computer and energy demand and supply. It then creates and implements a plan for scheduling workloads aiming to maximize use of the fewest possible servers for the shortest possible time, ideally when the facility can mainly draw on its local renewable energy sources.

HP Labs achieved its results at a 278.71m2 (3,000 square foot) test data center it operates at its corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, California. The center uses an 134KW array of solar photovoltaic panels to supply part of its energy. Researchers aim to test the software soon in a 4 645.15m2 (50,000 square foot) HP production data center in Fort Collins, Colorado.

The company also will test the software in a containerized set of data center systems at a Houston lab that is part of HP's Moonshot program to test ARM and Intel Atom-based servers. If all goes well, HP could offer the mainly open source code within a year along with its containerized systems.

Power consumption is one of the largest costs of today's largest data centers, mainly run by Web giants such as Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft.

- Rick Merritt
??EE Times

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