The Rutgers Computer Science Department has built a solar-powered “micro data center” comprised of a small container, a set of solar panels, and batteries. The system, known as Parasol, hosts two racks of energy-efficient Atom servers (up to 160 of them) and networking equipment. The container uses free cooling whenever possible, and direct-exchange air conditioning for the balance of its operatiins. Three manual switches enable different configurations for the energy supply, with power monitoring infrastructure to quantify how much energy is drawn from each available source. The Rutgers team has developed workload scheduling software programs, known as GreenHadoop (PDF) and GreenSlot (PDF), that match workloads to solar generation, much like HP’s approach to a “net zero” data center that we featured earlier this week. The Rutgers team is also developing GreenNebula, a customization of the OpenNebula cloud management software designed to eventually maximize the green energy use by migrating virtual machines across green data centers. In this video, Rutgers’ Ricardo Bianchini discusses the Parasol project.
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