Data Center Plug-Ins Could Cut Energy Use by 20 Percent

Data Center Plug-Ins Could Cut Energy Use by 20 Percent

The European Fit4Green ICT research project is working on a method to provide a new energy-managing layer of technology to cut data center energy use by as much as 20 percent without impacting performance.

The work is in development at the VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland, and hopes to have results from test scenarios by early 2011. The goal is to create ways to save on energy and cooling costs in data centers, driving down emissions while saving IT companies money.

Globally, it is estimated that information and communication technologies are responsible for about 2 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions due to the energy used by electronics, and as demand for online services and activities continue to grow that number will likely skyrocket.

Fit4Green is a 30-month-long project launched at the beginning of 2010. It was convened by a number of private companies and research institutions, including VTT Research Centre, HP's Innovation Center in Italy, the University of Passau in Germany, Italian energy company Eni, and others.

The data center plug-in project will look first at three types of data centers: A service/enterprise portal, a supercomputing grid and a cloud computing center. By focusing on these three main types of facilities, the Fit4Green coalition plans to be able to develop tools for almost any type of compute center.

The end goal of the project is to develop an energy-aware layer of plug-ins that sit on top of existing data center management tools, and which allow IT managers to monitor energy used by and activity of data center hardware. Although there are solutions on the market for data center power management, the Fit4Green initiative aims to make best practices for the design an implementation of these tools widely adopted in the industry.

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