Holistic Data Center Modelling Using Thermal, Power and Computational Simulations

Holistic modelling of a data center to include both thermodynamics and computational processes has the potential to revolutionize how data centers are designed and managed. Such a model is inherently multi-disciplinary, bringing together the computational elements studied by computer scientists; thermodynamics studied by mechanical engineers; and other aspects in the domain of electrical engineering. This paper proposes the use of the Internet of Simulation to allow engineers to build models of individual complex elements and deploy them as simulation services. These services can then be integrated as simulation system workflows. A proof of concept server simulation is presented, incorporating simulations of CPUs, heat sinks, and fans exposed using the SIMaaS paradigm. The integrated workflow of the server is then exposed as a service (WFaaS) to facilitate the building of an entire virtual data center. Unlike other data center simulations, this approach requires no direct characterisation of the hardware being simulated. Preliminary results are presented showing the effectiveness of the simulation technique and representative behaviour under various simulated cloud workloads. The benefits and future applications of this rapid prototyping approach extend to data center design and data center efficiency research.

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