Monday, May 13, 2013

GBoD [Geo-distributed Bunch of Data centers] or "Using Dark Fiber to Replace Diesel Generators"

Microsoft Research - Using Dark Fiber to Replace Diesel Generators

Cloud providers and other data center operators use geo-distributed data centers. But these data centers largely continue to employ the same designs as were appropriate for single data centers. These designs are wasteful because they do not take full advantage of geo-redundancy. Geo-redundancy can reduce other redundancy at multiple intermediate layers in individual data centers and decrease costs. We discuss options for changing infrastructure design to realize such savings. Our proposal opens up an exciting and novel area of investigation into the design of software that can effectively leverage such platforms.


We claim that geo-redundancy at the data center level can reduce or obviate other redundancy within individual data centers; much like app-layer replication via distributed file systems has obviated the need for highly reliable RAID arrays, allowing individual storage servers to use JBOD in data centers. We denote a group of reduced availability data centers that collectively deliver high availability as a Geo-distributed Bunch of Data centers (GBoD). We quantify the reduction in individual data center availability that becomes possible when a geo-distributed collection of data centers acts in concert using fault tolerance mechanisms. We discuss how an individual data center’s infrastructural design can be changed to reduce its availability, such as through eliminating diesel generators, and quantify corresponding cost savings. We call attention to new research questions in configuring geo-redundant data centers to optimally manage excess compute capacity, networking costs, and correlation among their failures.

GBoD moves complexity from the underlying hardware to software layers....

This title caught my eye today and I thought it some interesting research. Useful in my day-today grind? No, but interesting non-the-less


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