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KRATOS: Automated Management of Data Center Cooling Capacity with Adaptive Vent Tiles
Keywords: Cooling, Automation, Capacity
Raised floor data center architectures typically deliver cooling air from through perforated tiles to the inlets of equipment located in racks. The environment of these data centers is dynamic in that the workload and power dissipation fluctuate considerably over both short-term and long-term time scales. As an energy saving feature, equipment will vary fans speeds to match load. As such, local and site airflow requirements vary continuously. Adjustments to the cooling air flow can substantially reduce cooling costs, however labor costs and lack of expertise lead to the tiles to being infrequently adjusted, if ever. As a result most data centers are grossly over provisioned for airflow in general. Peak workloads can also result in insufficient local airflow delivery. Manual control over cooling air delivery wastes energy and reduces data center thermal capacity. We have previously introduced Kratos, an Adaptive Vent Tile (AVT) technology that addresses this problem by automatically adjusting mechanical louvers mounted to the tiles in response to the needs of nearby IT equipment. Our initial results were limited to a 3-tile test bed that allowed us to prove concept but did not provide for scalability. This paper extends the previous work by expanding the size of the test bed to 28 tiles and 29 racks located in multiple thermal zones. We present experimental modeling results on the MIMO (Multi-Input Multi-Output) system and provide insights on the external behavior of the system through CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamic) analysis. We develop an MPC (Model-based Predictive Control) controller to maintain the temperatures of racks below the thresholds through vent tile tuning. Experimental results show that the controller can maintain the temperatures below the thresholds while reducing cooling air requirements.
Alan McReynolds,
Hewlett Packard
Palo Alto, CA

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