Towards an Energy-Aware Cloud Architecture for Smart Grids

Energy consumption in Cloud computing is a significant issue in regards to aspects such as the cost of energy, cooling in the data center and the environmental impact of cloud data centers. Smart grids offers the prospect of dynamic costs for a data center’s energy usage. These dynamic costs can be passed on to Cloud users providing incentives for users to moderate their load while also ensuring the Cloud providers are insulated from fluctuations in the cost of energy. The first step towards this is an architecture that focuses on energy monitoring and usage prediction. We provide such an architecture at both the PaaS and IaaS layers, resulting in energy metrics for applications, VMs and physical hosts, which is key to enabling active demand in cloud data centers. This architecture is demonstrated through our initial results utilising a generic use case, providing energy consumption information at the PaaS and IaaS layers. Such monitoring and prediction provides the groundwork for providers passing on energy consumption costs to end users. It is envisaged that the resulting varying price associated with energy consumption can help motivate the formation of methods and tools to support software developers aiming to optimise energy efficiency and minimise the carbon footprint of Cloud applications.

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