Green IT Group Mannheim

One of the greatest challenges of today's society is to reach the United Nation’s max 2°C-climate change goal. This means to reduce at least 80% of anthropogenic GHG emissions. With an increasing share of global industry’s carbon footprint data centres have a high responsibility towards this goal. Since 2010 the Green IT Group of the University of Mannheim is investigating ways to enhance the eco-efficiency on different levels of abstraction. We have successfully lowered the GHG emissions of data centres already in several EU projects by optimizing the data centres themselves (FIT4Green) and by optimizing the whole data centre eco-system including energy provider and customers (All4Green). Currently we are investigating strategies to optimize data centres specifically in a smart city environment (DC4Cities). Besides data centre optimizations our second main objective is to develop approaches enabling to develop more eco-efficient software (green software engineering). Here, we have developed the notion of green specifications. Green specifications help all stakeholders to understand the consequences of their decisions with concerns to eco-costs already in the early phases of software development and by that reduces GHG emissions of the final software product.

Team

Green Software Engineering

Substantial optimizations helping to reduce energy and GHG emissions have already been applied on the hardware and infrastructure level in the past decade. However, the potential is far from being fully leveraged. Software offer many chances for optimization. We dedicate our research to find new approaches that enable the development of energy- and eco-efficient software. More specifically we focus on finding solutions that set eco-efficiency as a quality attribute of software already in the specification phase. For this purpose we have created the notion of green specifications. Green specifications shall raise the awareness of all parties involved in the specification process to ecological concerns and thus shall enable them to make well informed choices. In addition green specifications shall guide and restrict the developer in his choice of actions. Last, green specifications shall provide a way for specifying service level agreements (SLAs) on a fine level of granularity maximizing the optimization potential. More Information...

Green Data Centres

Since 2010 the Green IT Group of the University of Mannheim is working on enhancing the eco-efficiency of data centres. First data centre internal by optimizing the data centres themselves (FIT4Green), then by optimizing the whole data centre eco-system including energy provider and customers (All4Green) and now by optimizing data centres specifically in a smart city environment (DC4Cities).

The EU FP7 project DC4Cities "aims to achieve the optimal energy source usage in urban eco-friendly data centres, through a unified management of computational workload and characterization of available energy. The ultimate goal is maximizing the RES share in the used energy mix. To reach this goal, DC4Cities will develop a wide span of technology components at different layers, from application to infrastructure automation up to interfaces enabling cooperation with the Smart Grid layer and coordinated governance of urban data centres energy management. DC4Cities will also make a step forward on the creation of a set of standardizable metrics, allowing to measure and evaluate the actual data centre performance in optimizing the RES usage according such guidelines." More Information...

The EU FP7 project All4Green was launched in November 2011. Its goal is the development of techniques for an active collaboration within the data centre ecosystem to reduce the energy consumption and GHG emissions. Therefore, instead of focusing on the energy optimization of single ICT elements, (or subsets), the scope is broadened to all actors involved - from the user, over the data centre, to the energy provider. Apart from the theoretical solutions, an agent-based software system will be developed, optimizing the interactions between all parties. More information...

In the context of findings that ICT currently covers about 2% of the global energy consumption, maybe even increasing to 20% in 2020, the EU FP7 project FIT4Green (ID249020) was launched in January 2010. Its goal is the development of energy aware optimization policies for (single and federated) data centers in order to reduce the energy consumption of their ICT infrastructure, without compromising compliance with Service Level Agreements (SLA) and Quality of Service (QoS) metrics. For that purpose an energy-aware layer of plug-ins for data centre automation frameworks is being created, which overall, will lead to a reduction of an average of 20% of the energy consumption in direct server and network devices. More information...