When you sit down and open your email, it can be easy to forget that you are sending your request to a huge datacenter that processes an innumerable amount of bits per millisecond. The bare hardware in a datacenter emits more carbon than most of the general public realizes. When the average person thinks of carbon emissions, they do not think about datacenters as being a contaminating culprit. They think about big power plants or industrial factories. Since billions of people use the services of a datacenter daily, it is easy to see how people could not realize that there is an unforeseen problem relating to carbon emissions.
Researchers at TrinityCollege and IBM in Dublin, Ireland decided to come up with a solution for this problem. They have aptly named their methodology “Stratus.” It works off a mathematical algorithm that shifts computing loads to different datacenters across the world based on regional demand, costs and other internal factors. This technology will become a win-win for businesses and datacenters alike because it reduces overhead on both organizations which will result in using less electricity, which will only help the environment and reduce emissions.
Donal O’Mahony is a professor of computer science at Trinity College. He mentioned, “The overall goal of the Stratus system is to allow companies to procure their cloud computing service in a way that best serves their priorities. If they want to be super-green, it will shift the load one way. If they want to cut costs to the bone, it will shift it another way, or they can choose anything in between.”
Stratus is currently being tested in the United States and Ireland. In the United States, there is a large scale datacenter in California and another on the East coast in Virginia being utilized. This sparse test will demonstrate the abilities of Stratus. If Stratus is successful, it could pave the way to a much smarter and greener cloud for the entire world to enjoy.