Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

SME and AUAS to make the cloud greener

7 Jul 2014 00:00 | Communication

Cloud services are gaining ground. We want to be able to access our data with various devices at any given time. The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) has today been awarded a RAAK (Regional Attention and Action for Knowledge circulation)-SME subsidy to study how the cloud can be organised in the greenest and most energy-efficient manner possible.

Cloud services are gaining ground. We want to be able to access our data with various devices at any given time. The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) has today been awarded a RAAK (Regional Attention and Action for Knowledge circulation)-SME subsidy to study how the cloud can be organised in the greenest and most energy-efficient manner possible.

Cloud services are booming, and cloud service providers are thriving with them. These include companies such as Dropbox, Netflix and GoogleDocs, and numerous SMEs in the Netherlands that offer services such as computing capacity and storage via the internet. Although there is a growing consensus among them to make software more efficient, the knowledge needed to achieve this is lacking.

The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, ten SMEs and the Netherlands’ largest ICT trade association are now launching the large-scale study ‘Greening the Cloud’. The AUAS has the necessary measurement facilities in the SEFLab, a physical laboratory in which software energy footprints can be calculated with great accuracy.

Droning data centres

Through this study, the partners aim to contribute to the sustainability of Amsterdam’s ICT sector. Amsterdam is the second largest internet hub in Europe. It is home to 35 data centres, with each data centre using as much energy as a medium-sized city. The number of data centres has grown exponentially in recent years, and power consumption has risen accordingly. Cloud services account for some 50% of the power consumed by data centres. Case studies have shown that greener software can reduce power consumption by tens of percents. The outcomes of the study can also result in a significant saving in costs.

Cooperation

‘Greening the Cloud’ is being conducted by the HvA’s CleanTech research programme in the School of Technology (for knowledge on accurate measurement of the power consumed by computers) and the Informatics programme of the School of Design and Communication (for knowledge on cloud applications and configurations). Students from the two schools will carry out research under the leadership of a lecturer-researcher in Green Cloud Engineering.

Partners

For this RAAK-MKB subsidy from the Innovation Alliance Foundation (SIA) research projects are conducted by a university of applied sciences based on questions from the professional field. In this project, the AUAS (School of Technology and School of Design and Communication) is working with the Software Improvement Group, nine SME cloud service providers (GreenHost, REM Automatisering, Schuberg Philis, CloudProvider, Almende, Cobra Systems, VKA, Transfer Solutions, Diesveld Query Technology), three large cloud service providers (VMWare, SURFnet and Leaseweb), two knowledge institutions (University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam) and three relevant sector organisations (ISP Connect, GreenIT Amsterdam Region, Nederland ICT).