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Summer 2017 European Energy Innovation  33

                                                                                                                   DATA CENTRE ENERGY EFFICIENCY

higher power efficiency: despite using
more energy, the workload capacity
of today’s models so far outstrips
that of their predecessors that the
ratio of throughput to power usage is
indisputably in their favour. Removing
the option of higher efficiency servers
would result in a net increase of server
power consumption.

The figure opposite illustrates how        there will be a direct energy savings of                                            for data centre operators will be along
unintended consequences can               2.4TWh and an indirect savings of 3.7                                               the same order of magnitude.
impact the sheer number of physical       TWh via data centre infrastructure such
products required and the subsequent      as cooling equipment. DIGITALEUROPE                                                 DIGITALEUROPE encourages the
increase in energy consumed. Only         projects that the savings using server                                              European Commission to recognise the
nine high performance servers             active efficiency will result in a total                                             risk of imposing a counterproductive
are necessary to deliver a defined         power savings of 23.1TWh (14.4                                                      efficiency measure based on a server
workload as compared to 199 lower         directly by servers and 8.7 through                                                 idle power limit and work with us
performance low idling servers. This      infrastructure), which is a significantly                                            on maintaining the trend towards
representative illustration shows the     higher savings potential. The CO2                                                   delivering efficient energy consumption
negative impact on energy consumed,       savings, as well as the financial savings                                            in data centres. ●
high performance servers would use
just 12.5% of the TOTAL idle power        Ratio of Data Centre Deployed Power using average of systems passingRatio of deployed power normalised to active efficiency
consumed if using the “low Idle Power”    respective proposals with Active Efficiency as baseline
DIGITALEUROPE maintains that server
efficiency is best assessed through                                                                140% 138%        133%       132%
the use of a performance based                                                                    130%
SERT weighted geomean efficiency                                                                                                                    128%
metric, a method which determines
the overall performance per watt of                                                               120%
servers delivering a specified workload
in a data centre. The metric was                                                                  110%  105%       106%       106%                                       107%
developed using an extensive dataset                                                              100%
to assess and validate its effectiveness
and it reflects a consensus among                                                                  90%
DIGITALEUROPE’s members of how to
remove the least efficient servers from                                                                       Idle        25%        50%                                  100%
the market.
                                                                                                                         Server Utilisation level
The Commission has projected that the                                                                              ■ EU Idle Proposal ■ Modified Idle ■ Active Efficiency
energy consumption by servers will be
46TWh by 2030, and with the current
proposal including an idle limit, that

1 Malmodin, J., Lundén, D. (2016). The energy and carbon footprint of the ICT and E&M sector in Sweden 1990–2015 and beyond. Paper published and presented
at: ICT for Sustainability (ICT4S), Amsterdam, Netherlands, 30–31 August 2016. Shehabi, Arman, et al. 2016. United States Data Center Energy Usage Report. Berkeley,
CA: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. LBNL-1005775. June 27.
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