Zero-carbon Cloud and Sustainable Cloud Computing

Zero-carbon cloud (ZCCloud) proposes a new approach to reduce the carbon footprint of the rapidly growing cloud. In short, sustainable cloud computing. Specifically, collections of hyperscale cloud datacenters such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, and more are a growing problem as they are driving the increase of electric power consumption in both developed and developing world. The ZCCloud approach exploits a growing phenomenon called "stranded power", that is uneconomic due to geographic and temporal mismatching, and delivery of volatile computing services. The quantity of stranded power is growing rapidly in Europe, the United States, China, and around the world as renewable generation provides a growing fraction of electrical power, exceeding gigawatts in major power grids. Zero-carbon cloud and variants (coordinated datacenter workload scheduling and management) matched to advanced grid management has the potential to create carbon-free cloud computing that is essential to the continued growth of cloud computing. Many interesting scheduling, resource management, data center design, distributed systems, power market, and power grid research arise from this radical new approach of "supply-following" cloud computing.

Three Zero-carbon Cloud subprojects now have their own pages:

Several overview articles for Zero-carbon Cloud include a 2021 vision piece and a 2019 Overview and a 2015 vision paper . Andrew Chien gave a keynote talk at the 2016 ACM PODC Conference outlining interesting new distributed systems problems for sustainable cloud computing approaches such as Zero-carbon cloud. Lancium and Soluna are venture-funded startups building over 1 gigawatt (1,000 megawatts) of Zero-carbon Cloud. ZCCloud builds on a prior effort, the RIVER system that created a flexible NSF-funded testbed for exploring volatility, power, energy, variability, and reliability.

- CLEAR workshop talk, "Good, Better, Best..." call for the computing community to be part of the solution! Not just minimize our environmental damage. (June 2021).
- E-energy '21 paper shows that Cloud load shifting can damage grid performance, and needs to be done carefully! (June 2021).
- JSSPP paper accepted that highlights "Scheduling for Volatile Resources" as a new challenge for the resource management community (April 2021).
- Andrew's white paper on "Beyond Efficiency" to reduce the Absolute environmental impact of computing (March 2021).
- Two new ZCCloud papers! (August 2020), on regional load shifting, and stranded power in the ERCOT power grid!

  1. (NEW!) Liuzixuan Lin and Andrew A Chien, "Evaluating Coupling Models for Cloud Datacenters and Power Grids", ACM E-energy Conference, July 2021, (Torino, Italy).
  2. (NEW!) Andrew A Chien, "Good, Better, Best: How architects can help drive Decarbonisation of Datacenter Power Consumption (hint: efficiency is not enough)", Computing Landscapes for Environmental Accountability and Responsibility (CLEAR) Workshop at ISCA 2021.
  3. (NEW!) Chaojie Zhang and Andrew A Chien, "Scheduling Challenges for Variable Capacity Resources", Workshop on Job Scheduling for Parallel Processing (JSSPP), July 2021. Full example traces of realistic scenarios that generate variable resource capacity in data centers are provided for the German Power Grid (Carbon, Price), MISO (price, power), and ERCOT (stranded power) with varied temporal granularity as described in the paper.
  4. (NEW!) Chaojie Zhang, A Kumbhare, I Manousakis, D Zhang, P Misra, R Assis, K Woolcock, N Mahalingam, B Warrier, D Gauthier, L Kunnath, S Solomon, O Morales, M Fontoura, R Bianchini. “Flex: High-Availability Datacenters With Zero Reserved Power.” Intl Symp Computer Architecture (ISCA), June 2021.
  5. (NEW!) Andrew A. Chien, Going Beyond Efficiency to Eliminate computing’s Absolute Negative Environmental Impact, UChicago CS Technical Report 2021-05 , March 2021.
  6. Mark Dietrich and Andrew A. Chien, Options for Extending the Life of Scientific Computing Equipment, UChicago CS Technical Report 2020-08 , October 2020. See also here .
  7. Jiajia Zheng, Andrew A. Chien, and Sangwon Suh, Mitigating curtailment and carbon emissions through data center load migration , Joule, Volume 4, Number 10, October 2020.
  8. Liuzixuan Lin and Andrew A. Chien, Characterizing Stranded Power in the ERCOT in Years 2012-2019: A Preliminary Report, UChicago CS Tech Report, August 4, 2020.
  9. Liuzixuan Lin and Andrew A. Chien, Automated Classification of Power Plants by Generation Type , ACM e-Energy '20, June 22-26, 2020, Melbourne, Australia.
  10. Weiqi Zhang, Line A. Roald, Andrew A. Chien, John R. Birge, Victor M. Zavala, "Flexibility from Networks of Data Centers: A Market Clearing Formulation with Virtual Links, 21st Power Systems Computation Conference (PSCC), June 29 - July 3, 2020 in Porto, Portugal. (also available from Arxiv CoRR abs/1910.05443 (2019) )
  11. Andrew A. Chien, The Zero-Carbon Compute Project . University of Chicago Technical Report, October 1, 2019.
  12. (Best Paper Award Winner) Hai Nguyen, Chaojie Zhang, Zhujun Xiao, and Andrew A. Chien, Real-time Serverless: Enabling Application Performance Guarantees , Workshop on Serverless Computing (WoSC'19), December 2019, Sacramento, California.
  13. Junchen Jiang, Yuhao Zhou, Ganesh Ananthanarayanan, Yuanchao Shu, and Andrew A. Chien, Networked Cameras are the new Big Data Clusters , Mobicom/HotEdge Video '19, October 2019, Los Cabos, Mexico.
  14. Hai Nguyen, Chaojie Zhang, Zhujun Xiao, and Andrew A. Chien, Real-time Serverless: Cloud Resource Management for Bursty, Real-time Workloads, UChicago Technical Report, March 2019.
  15. Hai Nguyen, Cloud Resource Management for Bursty, Real-time Workloads , MS Paper, UChicago Technical report, June 2019.
  16. Andrew A. Chien, Chaojie Zhang, and Hai Nguyen. Zero-carbon Cloud: Research Challenges for Datacenters as Supply-following Loads. UChicago Computer Science TR 2019-08, February 2019.
  17. Chaojie Zhang, Varun Gupta, and Andrew A. Chien, Information Models: Creating and Preserving Value in Volatile Cloud Resources , in the IEEE International Conference on Cloud Engineering (IC2E), June 2019, Prague, Czechoslovakia.
  18. Chaojie Zhang, Managing the Value of Volatile Cloud Resources: Information Disclosure and Guarantee-Preserving Management , MS Thesis, Technical Report, Fall 2018.
  19. Andrew A. Chien, Characterizing Opportunity Power in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) in Years 2015-2017. Energy and Earth Science , 3(2), December 2020. Also avail-able as University of Chicago, Computer Science TR-2018-07
  20. Andrew A. Chien, Fan Yang, and Chaojie Zhang, Characterizing Curtailed and Uneconomic Renewable Power in the Mid-continent Independent System Operator , AIMS Energy, 2018, 6(2): 376-401. doi: 10.3934/energy.2018.2.376. May 3, 2018, Draft version January 2017, on
  21. Chaojie Zhang, Varun Gupta, and Andrew A. Chien, "How to Increase the Value of Volatile Cloud Resources: Resource Management and Information Disclosure", Tech Report , April 2018.
  22. Fan Yang and Andrew A. Chien, Large-scale and Extreme-Scale Computing with Stranded Green Power: Opportunities and Costs , IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, Volume 29, Issue 5, 12 December 2017, pp. 1103-1116.
  23. Fan Yang, Haryadi Gunawi, and Andrew A. Chien, "Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities of Cloud Stacks in Dynamic Resource Environments", IEEE Symposium on Collaboration and Internet Computing , San Jose, California, October 2017.
  24. Fan Yang, Haryadi Gunawi, and Andrew A. Chien, Resilient Cloud in Dynamic Resource Environments , ACM Symposium on Cloud Computing (SoCC), Santa Clara, Californi, September 2017 (Poster)
  25. Mingzhe Hao, Huaicheng Li, Michael Hao Tong, Chrisma Pakha, Riza O. Suminto, Cesar A. Stuardo, Andrew A. Chien, Haryadi S. Gunawi. "MittOS: Operating System Support for Millisecond Tail Tolerance in Data-Parallel Storage , in Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles, October 2017, Shanghai, China.
  26. Shiqin Yan, Huaicheng Li, Mingzhe Hao, Michael Hao Tong, Swaminathan Sundararaman, Andrew A. Chien, and Haryadi Gunawi.   Tiny-Tail Flash: Near-Perfect Elimination of Garbage Collection Tail Latencies in NAND SSDs ,  in Proceedings of the USENIX Filesystems and Storage Technologies (FAST), February 2017, Santa Clara, CA. (best paper finalist)
  27. Fan Yang and Andrew A. Chien, "Scaling Supercomputing with Stranded Power: Costs and Capabilities", Also  available as University of Chicago Technical Report 2016-04, January 2016,  Techreport link
  28. Kibaek Kim, Fan Yang, Victor Zavala, and Andrew A. Chien, "Data Centers as Dispatchable Loads to Harness Stranded Power", in IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy, 8(1), January 2017. DOI  10.1109/TSTE.2016.2593607 .  (submitted version from March 2016 is available from Arxiv
  29. Fan Yang and Andrew A. Chien, ZCCloud: Exploring Wasted Green Power for High-Performance Computing , International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium (IPDPS), May 2016.
  30. Mingzhe Hao, Gokul Soundararajan, Deepak Kenchammana-Hosekote, Andrew A. Chien, and Haryadi S. Gunawi, The Tail at Store: A Revelation from Millions of Hours of Disk and SSD Deployments, in Proceedings of the USENIX Filesystems and Storage Technologies (FAST), February 2016, Santa Clara, CA.
  31. Andrew A. Chien, Rich Wolski, and Fan Yang, The Zero-Carbon Cloud: High-Value, Dispatchable Demand for Renewable Power Generators, Energy Policy Research Conference, September 2015, Denver, Colorado.  In Electricity Journal, October 2015.
  32. Andrew A. Chien, Rich Wolski, and Fan Yang, "Zero-carbon Cloud: A Volatile Resource for High Performance Computing", Proceedings of the IEEE Workshop on Sustainable High-Performance Computing, October 2015, Liverpool, England.
People: , Chaojie (Sam) Zhang, Hai Nguyen, and Liuzixuan (Peter) Lin (UChicago),  Andrew A. Chien , Mihai Anitescu (UChicago and Argonne), Rich Wolski (UCSB),  Victor Tejada-Zavala (Argonne and U Wisconsin), Kibaek Kim  (Argonne) Former: Fan Yang, Jeremy Archer (UChicago)