Google Research

Managing Distributed UPS Energy for Effective Power Capping in Data Centers

  • Vasileios Kontorinis
  • Liuyi Eric Zhang
  • Baris Aksanli
  • Jack Sampson
  • Houman Homayoun
  • Eddie Pettis
  • Dean M. Tullsen
  • Tajana Simunic Rosing
International Symposium on Computer Architecture (2012), pp. 488-499


Power over-subscription can reduce costs for modern data centers. However, designing the power infrastructure for a lower operating power point than the aggregated peak power of all servers requires dynamic techniques to avoid high peak power costs and, even worse, tripping circuit breakers. This work presents an architecture for distributed per-server UPSs that stores energy during low activity periods and uses this energy during power spikes. This work leverages the distributed nature of the UPS batteries and develops policies that prolong the duration of their usage. The specific approach shaves 19.4% of the peak power for modern servers, at no cost in performance, allowing the installation of 24% more servers within the same power budget. More servers amortize infrastructure costs better and, hence, reduce total cost of ownership per server by 6.3%.

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