A new solution, developed by European industry and academia, slashes data center energy consumption and CO2 emissions by more than 20 percent.
5 July 2012
New way to slash data center energy consumption
As part of a EU-funded project, experts from
industry and academia designed and
implemented an energy-aware plug-in that
works on top of the current management
tools used by data centers to organize the
allocation of ICT resources and turn off
unused equipment. The solution slashes
energy consumption by more than 20 percent.
Savings in CO2 emissions are on the same
scale as the energy savings.
Data centers are a significant part of ICT and their considerable CO2 emissions are damaging both
to the planet and company budgets - energy-related costs total over 40 percent of their expenses.
But there is a glimmer of light on the horizon.
The technology does not compromise the equipment's compliance with Service Level Agreements
(SLA) and Quality of Service (QoS) metrics.
The target of 20 percent was reached in each test bed and in some cases the savings were as much
as 50 percent.
The comparison point for all the savings was the same system without any energy optimizations,
said VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, whose main contribution to the project was
working on optimizations in the supercomputing scenario.
The technology is now available to anyone who wants to use it with all 16 public deliverables of the
project freely available on the FIT4Green project website. Likewise, the plug-in code has been
released as open source software.
Carbon dioxide cuts on the same scale
ICT from telephone lines to computers and audio-visual systems, in short the devices that make our
lives easier and more flexible in the 21st century, were responsible for about 2 percent of global
carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2008.
This means that CO2 emissions from ICT were just under 1 billion tonnes, a figure equivalent to the
fuel consumption of the aviation sector.
But while governments, industry and regulators argue over the need and ways to bring emissions
from aviation under control, much less is heard about the necessity of reducing CO2 from ICT in
the fight against climate change.
Moreover, the team said that it achieved savings in CO2 emissions that were on the same scale as
the energy savings.
A variety of European partners involved
FIT4Green ('Federated IT for a sustainable environmental impact') project under the 'ICT' Theme of
the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
The importance of the FIT4Green project is clear from the variety of partners involved - ranging
from leading multinationals to university departments. Indeed, the project was coordinated by the
Spanish company GFI Informatica with Hewlett Packard Italy Innovation Centre (HP-IIC) as the
Other partners included the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the universities of Passau
and Mannheim, Germany, Imperial College London, United Kingdom, the Julich Supercomputing
Centre (JSC), Germany, CREATE-NET, an Italian research centre, Eni, the Italian multinational oil
and gas company, and Almende, a Dutch research firm.
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