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CoolEmAll project tackles data centre energy efficiency

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A European Commission (EC)-funded project aims to tackle the energy-efficiency implications of increasing investment in new data centres. The 30-month CoolEmAll programme will take a holistic approach to improving data centre energy efficiency, covering not just the role of IT hardware and facilities equipment but also the applications they ultimately support.

The project will deliver and enhance two key tools – monitoring software and a prototype server design – t o help data centres monitor and manage their energy consumption. The first is the Simulation, Visualisation and Decision support (SVD) toolkit, a real-time Computational Fluid Dynamics modelling tool. It will allow datacentre planners to model the energy efficiency implications of physical placement of servers within a facility, different approaches to cooling, and the roles played by applications and workload.

The other main outcome of the project will be a set of open source designs based on a high-density server known as the RECS | Compute Box developed by German start-up Christmann informationstechnik. These designs, along with the SVD toolkit, should allow other projects, or potentially commercial data centre operators, to build on the research done by the CoolEmAll consortium.

The CoolEmAll project, along with other EC-funded data centre and HPC projects, is expected to benefit from the recently-announced EC investment in HPC of €1.2 billion – a substantial increase on the previous €630 million. Half of the budget is earmarked for development and training, and for new centres of excellence, creating thousands of jobs.

The seven members of the project consortium are Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center (PSNC), The Toulouse IT Research Institute, High Performance Computing Centre University of Stuttgart (HLRS), The Catalonia Institute for Energy Research, Atos, 451 Research and Christmann informationstechnik.