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Realizing highly available datacenter power infrastructure is an extremely expensive proposition with costs more than doubling as the authors move from three 9's (Tier-1) to six 9's (Tier-4) of availability. Existing approaches only consider the cost/availability trade-off for a restricted set of power infrastructure configurations, relying mainly on component redundancy. A number of additional knobs such as centralized vs. distributed component placement and power-feed interconnect topology also exist, whose impact has only been studied in limited forms. In this paper, they develop detailed datacenter availability models using Continuous-time Markov Chains and Reliability Block Diagrams to quantify the cost-availability trade-off offered by these power infrastructure knobs.
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