Data center costs for computer power and cooling have been steadily increasing over the past decade. Much work has been done in recent years on understanding how to improve the delivery of cooling resources to IT equipment in data centers, but little attention has been paid to the optimization of heat production by considering the placement of application workload. Because certain physical locations inside the data center are more efficient to cool than others, this suggests that allocating heavy computational workloads onto those servers that are in more efficient places might bring substantial savings. This paper explores this issue by introducing a workload placement metric that considers the cooling efficiency of the environment. Additionally, results from a set of experiments that utilize this metric in a thermally isolated portion of a real data center are described. The results show that the potential savings is substantial and that further work in this area is needed to exploit the savings opportunity.

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