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Data centers have recently gained significant popularity as a cost-effective platform for hosting large-scale service applications. While large data centers enjoy economies of scale by amortizing initial capital investment over large number of machines, they also incur tremendous energy cost in terms of power distribution and cooling. An effective approach for saving energy in data centers is to adjust dynamically the data center capacity by turning off unused machines. However, this dynamic capacity provisioning problem is known to be challenging as it requires a careful understanding of the resource demand characteristics as well as considerations to various cost factors, including task scheduling delay, machine reconfiguration cost and electricity price fluctuation.
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