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The scale and complexity of modern datacenters are growing at an alarming rate due to the rising popularity of the cloud computing paradigm as an effective means to cater to the ever increasing demand for computing and storage. The management of modern datacenters is rapidly exceeding human ability, making autonomic approaches essential. In this article, methods for acquiring thermal awareness using real-time measurements and heat and air circulation models as well as solutions for proactive autonomic datacenter management that exploit this awareness are discussed. Novel communication and coordination schemes that enable self-organization of a network of external heterogeneous sensors (e.g., thermal cameras, scalar temperature and humidity sensors, airflow meters) into a multitier sensing infrastructure capable of real-time datacenter monitoring are also presented.
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