Project description

The main M2DC goals and objectives

What is M2DC?

We develop a new class of low-power TCO-optimised appliances with built-in efficiency and dependability enhancements, easy to integrate with a broad ecosystem of management software and fully software-defined to enable optimisation for a variety of future demanding applications in a cost-effective way.


M2DC is developing turnkey appliances based on a microserver system enabling to build use-case driven, modular, high-density data centres. The idea is to provide use cases in the form of turnkey appliances which can be easily configured, produced, installed and maintained. Thus, the main M2DC goal is to deliver a new class of appliances with the following properties:
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[O1] Development of the new class of appliances with minimised Total Cost of Ownership.
M2DC will deliver appliances that will provide significantly lower costs in terms of combined CAPEX (Capital Expenditures) and OPEX (Operating Expense) for data centres. Target: Costs for application users within the project should be reduced by a factor of 2.
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[O2] Reduction of energy consumed by the appliances.

M2DC Appliances will use next-generation microserver modules based on latest low-power heterogeneous SoCs coming from server or mobile and embedded markets. Their smart integration in a heterogeneous system including resources such as x86, GPU or FPGA-based.

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[O3] Development of built-in dependability functions.

M2DC appliances will include dependability features by design. This objective will be achieved by integration of built-in hardware-supported monitoring and management features, fast and efficient techniques for pattern matching in order to prevent failures and security.

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[O4] Versatility, customisation and scalability thanks to fully software-defined design.

Appliances will allow dynamic customisation to specific application workloads including their built-in functions and communication, power and thermal management (power & temperature caps, energy budgets) features. First, M2DC will.

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[O5] Intelligent power management.

M2DC will achieve additional significant improvements in efficiency by integrating software and hardware techniques at various levels including: hardware-assisted system efficiency enhancements, taking advantage of novel fine-grained virtualisation techniques, optimal mapping to.

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[O6] Easy and powerful integration with existing data centre ecosystems.

M2DC appliances will enable dynamic management and scalability by easy adaptation to an existing data centre eco-system as well as cloud and HPC systems. This integration will provide flexibility; easy deployment, provisioning, and maintenance; precise and dynamic control of.

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[O7] Enabling easy adoption of cutting-edge hardware technologies for selected applications.

In addition to the latest ARM-based server and embedded processors at the latest technology nodes, M2DC will apply cutting-edge solutions such as reconfigurable hardware and HMC memory based on 3D-stacking, optical interconnects, and new.

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[O8] Demonstration of appliances for a broad set of relevant applications.

One of the main challenges when designing a heterogeneous low-power system using computing resources such as ARM-based SoCs and accelerators is to identify the proper configuration of the system with respect to applications. Another challenge is to port the.

These objectives will enable M2DC to:
• reduce TCO for selected applications and use cases by 50% compared to other servers,
• improve energy-efficiency by 10-100 times, compared to 2013 typical servers depending on selected system configuration and application.

Modular Microserver DataCentre Pillars

Modular Microserver DataCentre (M2DC) investigates, develops and demonstrates a modular, highly-efficient, cost-optimized server architecture composed of heterogeneous microserver computing resources, being able to be tailored to meet requirements from various application domains such as image processing, cloud computing or even HPC.
To achieve this objective, M2DC is built on three main pillars:
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* A flexible server architecture that can be easily customised, maintained and updated so as to enable adaptation of the data centre. This architecture will be optimized with respect to the integration of computing resources with constrained thermal power dissipation such as embedded CPUs and GPUs, FPGAs, manycore processors, while also being able to integrate more powerful resources if needed. Built on established standards such as COM Express, the server architecture will enable the integration of third-party boards and chips, leading to what can be called an open server architecture. Particular attention will be put on.

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* Advanced management strategies [Pillar 2a] and system efficiency enhancements (SEE) [Pillar 2b]. In order to improve the behaviour of the system during runtime and to meet requirements from the various applications, the server architecture will include built-in enhancements (e.g., for computing acceleration, enhancements of the global efficiency thanks to data management, dependability and security, behaviour monitoring, etc.) on system level. High power efficiency will be provided by an intelligent power management enabling to constantly optimize the power consumption of the system thanks to proactive and reactive strategies.

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* Well-defined interfaces to surrounding software ecosystem will allow for an easy integration into existing data centre management solutions through the use of the latest middleware software for resource management, provisioning, etc. Building on the Linux operating system (e.g., Linaro for ARM-based compute modules) and other well-known software infrastructures, M2DC will also feature optimized runtime software implementations when needed for improving the efficiency of the system towards application domains such as cloud computing, big data analytics and HPC applications.

The results of these three pillars will be combined to produce TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)-optimized appliances, deployed in a real data centre environment and seamlessly interacting with existing infrastructure to run real-life applications.

Main M2DC goal

M2DC is developing turnkey appliances based on a microserver system enabling to build use-case driven, modular, high-density data centres. The idea is to provide use cases in the form of turnkey appliances which can be easily configured, produced, installed and maintained. Thus, the main M2DC goal is to deliver a new class of appliances with the following properties:

M2DC Server Architecture

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Preconfigured appliances

To develop its appliances M2DC proposes a flexible server architecture [P4] that can be easily customised [P6], equipped with intelligent power management [P2] and integrated with well-defined interfaces to the surrounding software ecosystem [P5]. The server architecture is based on low power System on Chip (SoC) [P2] components accompanied by built-in enhancements (e.g. for performance acceleration, efficiency, dependability) on system level, thus delivering great efficiency while minimising the effort needed from users. M2DC appliances will enable TCO optimisation [P2][P3] for specific use cases and application areas. The overall costs will be lowered by the use of low cost microserver modules, decrease of energy consumption costs, and facilitating maintenance and integration with existing computing environments [P1]. Relations of this approach to the M2DC appliance properties are illustrated in Figure 1.
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The M2DC Consortium