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Data Center Power Takes a Green Approach with Solar Energy
Large-scale data centers and the green movement were once strange bedfellows as data drove the company assets. Not anymore; the “GreenHadoop” is changing that old perception and energy conservation-focused consumers are demanding change in the consumption and management of data center power.
According to this Gigamon (News - Alert) piece, the Hadoop is no stranger to big data, especially recently as the focus on energy consumption in data centers is narrowing. Hadoop is essentially software named after a toy elephant that gives applications the ability to communicate with thousands of computers as well as mountains of data.
So, what does this have to do with energy consumption? A GreenHadoop is capable of optimizing the way energy is used with data centers; giving data center power consumption issues a new workaround. GreenHadoop could help figure out which green energies are available for data center power and reschedule processing jobs that aren’t on deadline to a time when they can be processed while the green energy is available.
The work toward the GreenHadoop began at Polytechnic University of Catalonia and Rutgers University. Using a version of the MapReduce platform, the goal of the collaboration was essentially to figure out a way to oversee a data center’s computational processes and utilize solar energy as its main source of data center power.
The concept rests on the assumption that the use of solar energy for data center power wouldn’t lead to any disruptions in service as the solar energy would be captured in battery systems. It would allow the use of traditional power sources in times of greater data center power needs or when the sun does not shine.
Likewise, green energy might possibly only be used to process non-priority workloads. The technology in Hadoop would be sufficient in timing the processes to data center power needs and offer another boost to the use of green energy consumption. At the same time, using Hadoop for scheduling data center power performance would also reduce utility costs.
Solar power is becoming a more viable way of sourcing data center power needs. Over the last six months, the price of generating a watt of solar energy dropped 10 cents. The demand for solar energy grew by around 40 percent last year, and the cost of obtaining the hardware to run solar systems has dropped so much that it is estimated that by as earlier as next year, solar panels will cost about half of what they did in 2009.
With the cost of solar energy declining, and the rise of software systems to help balance green energy with data center power needs, it would appear that data center and the green movement could make a great couple.
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin
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