CoolEmAll Releases First Data Centre Tools

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

The European CoolEmAll project to make data centres and IT equipment more efficient has released its first tools

The European Commission undertaking officially known as the CoolEmAll project, which is designed to tackle energy efficiency in data centres, has released its first set of prototype tools.

The CoolEmAll project involves universities and vendors as well as specialists such as analyst firm the 451 Group. It aims to develop and deliver monitoring software as part of a wider goal to reduce data centre energy consumption.

Green Data Centres

The project came to light back in February 2012, when it was revealed it would develop tools to help improve and evaluate data centre and high performance computing (HPC) energy efficiency by looking at the interaction of hardware, software, and data centre facilities such as power/cooling systems. It also promised to examine the role of applications as part of its energy and carbon efficiency drive.

Cool Em All LandscapeThe first tool that resulted from this project is the ‘Simulation Visualisation and Decision support (SVD) toolkit’.

This SVD toolkit will allow data centre planners to create models of different energy efficiency implications of the physical placement of servers within a facility. It also allows planners to evaluate  the different approaches to cooling, and will assess the role played by applications and workload.

The second main output from the CoolEmAll project is a set of data centre building blocks that can be plugged into simulations. “The building blocks contain hardware and thermodynamic models that can be used to simulate the complex interactions within a data centre,” said the project. “DEBBs, along with workload and application profiles, will be available in an open repository.”

The prototypes are ready and are available for download here.

“Factors such as rising fuel prices, stricter environmental legislation and constrained credit amid the financial crisis are contributing to higher capital and operational costs for data centre owners and operators,” said Andrew Donoghue, senior analyst, 451 Research (part of the CoolEmAll consortium) in a statement.

“The tools and research that will result from the CoolEmAll project will help the data centre industry to meet some of these challenges, and develop more efficient and sustainable facilities,” he added.

coolemall data centre thermal imaging 3DEfficiency Simulations

The SVD toolkit, besides being able to simulate new and existing facilities and application profiles, hardware characteristics etc, can also offer hardware and workload simulations with computational fluid dynamics (CFD).

The SVD Toolkit actually includes a number of sub-tools which include:

  • Application profiler (enables the capture of application characteristics);
  • Application energy consumption estimation tool (to assess the impact that specific applications have on power usage of servers);
  • Data centre measurement and profiling tool (to build and verify data centre models along with a central database for comparison of real measurements with simulation results);
  • Data centre workload and resource management simulator (to provide results on how specific management policies, hardware configurations, intensity of workloads or application types affect the overall energy consumption of a data centre).

A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation tool is also included, as is a metrics calculator (for the assessment of the energy- and heat-efficiency of the facility based on common metrics), and data centre visualisation tools (web-based graphical user interface that includes 3D visualisation and detailed dashboards).

The arrival of the tools comes as the data centre sector continues to grow dramatically, making improved efficiencies a vital option in order to control costs.

Tariff Consultancy published a report several years ago, in which it predicted that raised floor space would increase by 28 percent on average. That report also predicted that data centre revenue across Europe would increase by 53 percent to the end of 2016.

London remains the largest data centre market in Europe.

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