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This paper addresses the problem of electricity cost management for Internet service providers with a collection of spatially distributed data centers. As the demand on Internet services and cloud computing has kept increasing in recent years, the power usage associated with IDC operations has been uprising significantly. The cyber and physical aspects of IDCs interact with each other, and bring unprecedented challenges in power management. While most existing research focuses on reducing power consumptions of IDCs at one specific location, the problem of reducing the total electricity cost has been overlooked. This is an important problem faced by service providers, especially in the present multielectricity-market environment, where the price of electricity may exhibit temporal and spatial diversities. Further, for these service providers, guaranteeing the quality of service (QoS; i.e., service level objectives) such as service delay guarantees to the end users is of critical importance. This paper studies the problem of minimizing the total electricity cost geared to QoS constraint as well as the location diversity and time diversity of electricity price under multiregional electricity markets. We jointly consider both the cyber and physical management capabilities of IDCs, and exploit both the center-level load balancing and the server-level power control in a unified scheme. We model the problem as a constrained mixed integer programming based on generalized benders decomposition (GBD) technique. Extensive evaluations based on real-life electricity price data for multiple IDC locations demonstrate the effectiveness of our scheme.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2012