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Bull and University Joseph Fourier, France, to co-operate on ‘green computing’

BUSINESS CASES  

The two partners are aiming to implement an active policy, from auditing to the implementation of computing rooms with low carbon footprints. The key challenge: to reduce the electricity consumption of University Joseph Fourier’s computing facilities by 50% over the next three years.

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Bull and University Joseph Fourrier (UJF) in Grenoble, France, have today announced a cooperative initiative to implement a sustainable development policy. The first stage in the collaboration will see the construction of a new energy-efficient computing suite at the heart of the university, following the Bio Data Center™ approach recommended by Bull. UJF’s aim is to cut the electricity consumption of its Data Centers by 50% over the coming three years.

Limiting global warming is becoming a key concern for public sector organizations. This applies particularly to buildings, because they are responsible for around 25% of energy pollution, especially Data Centers, which are large consumers of energy, with low levels of energy recovery and significant carbon footprints. As a result, almost half of the energy that they draw from the grid never actually reaches the components in computers such as processors, memory chips or disks. And only 3% of the energy consumed by a Data Center is actually used by the processors in computer hardware.

However, technological innovations and new practices are enabling organizations to break free from current approaches to energy management and to properly align their IT systems with demands for environmental protection and cost control. This is precisely the aim of the collaborative initiative that has been implemented between Bull and UJF. There will be several phases in this co-operation:

Phase 1 (the energy efficiency study) was recently completed. This work was carried out in close collaboration with Schneider Electric, Bull’s strategic partner in the area of Data Centers. It involved putting together a comprehensive inventory of resources, in order to take physical measurements and carry out an analysis of the IT environments in a 200m² (2,150 square foot) computing suite hosting some 100 generalist servers, HPC grids, hardware infrastructure for IT networks and telephony. The detailed report consists of a series of recommendations with associated action plan covering the cooling infrastructure, electrical distribution network, and the way that hardware and software are organized within the machine room.

The document sets out the general technical characteristics of the Data Center’s energy state.

Implementing simple recommendations to deliver a 15% saving on electricity costs

It has become clear that simply by implementing the recommendations set out in the report completely by Bull with UJF, a 15% saving on current expenditure on electricity is possible. These recommendations involve rationalizing the hardware pool and reducing the area that needs to be air-conditioned. The logical follow-on from this phase will be the implementation by UJF, in cooperation with Bull, of a new Data Center, featuring state-of-the-art technologies when it comes to cooling computer systems (using cold doors, geothermal energy...) and implementing software technologies such as virtualization.

Key figures: the challenges of ‘Green computing’

The challenges faced by IT Departments more widely can be summed up by a few key figures:

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About University Joseph Fourier-Grenoble 1 (UJF)

A leading scientific, technological and medical university with a worldwide reputation, University Joseph Fourier (UJF) is active within 70 laboratories and its top-level research is developed in partnership with national research bodies and major international facilities. It is an international community, based in the French city of Grenoble. Computing and applied mathematics are among UJF’s flagship scientific disciplines. Research in these areas is spread across eight different laboratories and involves some 220 academic research/teaching staff and 370 PhD students and post-doctoral researchers. The University commercializes the results of its research via its subsidiary company, Floralis. Of the 28 start-ups that have been born out of UJF’s research labs, 11 are involved in information and communications sciences and technologies.

For more information, visit: http://www.ujf-grenoble.f