Tool highlights server carbon emissions

The Carbon Trust is developing a tool which will show IT managers exactly how much power is consumed by their data centres, and what can be saved.

Tool highlights server carbon emissions

The software is being developed in collaboration with the British Computer Society, and will give IT staff the ability to see what each individual service or application requires in terms of cost and energy.

The level of carbon emissions from data centres is estimated by the Carbon Trust to be equal to that produced by the aviation industry, and represent a quarter of the whole IT sector’s energy use.

“The scale of the problem is worrying. Forecasts based on the current growth of data and associated IT infrastructure translates into a picture of unsustainable power consumption in the long term and power supply capacity issues in the short term. It is crucial that we make effective tools available to enable companies to identify the right steps to take to reduce energy use and carbon,” says Hugh Jones, solutions director at the Carbon Trust.

In recent months some interesting plans to reduce the carbon emissions arising from computing have been suggested.

One theory is that data storage and processing could be moved to areas of the world were sustainable power is plentiful, such as desert regions with solar power plants or offshore centres with wind-power stations.

“There’s something very special about computing power which is very different from heating your house. Computing power can be moved around the world and can be done anywhere in the world where the energy is available,” explains Cambridge University Professor, Andy Hopper.

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