Employing Openstack Watcher in GEYSER to make Openstack more Energy Efficient

[This post was originally published on the GEYSER blog by our own Seàn Murphy. ICCLab is a partner in GEYSER and is responsible for developing workload migration mechanisms and other activities.]

GEYSER focuses on making Data Centres more energy efficient in the context of varying availability of energy. One of the tools used in this context is a mechanism to effect load consolidation on IT workload in the Data Centres. The GEYSER project has chosen to focus on the Openstack cloud computing framework as the context to perform such load consolidation and in the earlier stages of the project developed a load consolidation solution which was demonstrated on a small cluster locally.

During project execution, activities evolved within the Openstack community resulting in an opportunity for GEYSER. More specifically, the Watcher group was formed within the Openstack community to focus on making Openstack more energy efficient. Interestingly, one of the main focal points of the Watcher group was also to leverage load consolidation mechanisms to effect energy savings.

Watcher has been active for the second half of 2015 and has engaged some of the big players including IBM, Intel, Huawei and Orange. It is led by Antoine Cabot of b-com, a French R&D organization.

The Watcher group has developed a framework which can be used to perform a so-called audit on cluster of nodes which reviews the energy consumption and determines if another configuration could result in a lower energy consumption: the output of such an audit is an Action Plan (distinct from the GEYSER Action Plan!) comprised of a set of actions which are defined within Watcher – examples of the actions available include ‘Move VM from one host to another’, ‘change host ACPI state’ etc. Watcher also provides mechanisms by which an Action Plan can be applied to a set of nodes, monitoring the success or otherwise of the actions; it also provides basic supports for rollback in the case of error executing the Action Plan.

GEYSER is contributing to the Watcher effort by integrating the load consolidation algorithm developed within the earlier days of the project. This is currently a work in progress which is targeting the mitaka release. The ZHAW team within GEYSER has developed a blueprint outlining the basic premise; this was then evolved into a specification which is currently under discussion and is the basis for the implementation work. Once this has been integrated, it is hoped that this will feature in the pilot phase of GEYSER which is ongoing.

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