Using transient thermal models to predict cyberphysical phenomena in data centers

Georgios Varsamopoulos, Michael Jonas, Joshua Ferguson, Joydeep Banerjee, Sandeep Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Designing and configuring the layout of data centers, as well as testing thermal-aware decision (e.g., scheduling) algorithms has been hindered by the use of CFD simulations, which are considerably slow and are not that flexible in integrating cyber behavior (e.g., workload scheduling). Fast thermal mapping techniques on the other hand may rely on wrong assumptions (e.g., steady state) and thusly produce incorrect conclusions or they can be unusable because of cyber-physical interactions that rely on transient phenomena (e.g., transient hot spots that cause throttling). In this paper, we propose to speed up the evaluation of designs and algorithms with the use of a heat transfer model that captures transient behavior. We demonstrate its physical relevance, provide a methodology in yielding its parameters from experiments, and show how it can be combined with heat generation and cooling models to create a complete minimal data center system model, which can be simulated in only a small fraction of a CFD simulation time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-147
Number of pages16
JournalSustainable Computing: Informatics and Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Cyber-physical systems
  • Data center modeling
  • Lightweight transient models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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