Social media, Internet of Things, Big Data, clouds and mobile services are key players in today’s continuously digitalized society. And Data Centres are the hubs that enable them all. Every bit of information traveling over the internet goes through Data Centres. They truly are a critical infrastructure of our times.
So, the Data Centre services business is blooming but, as is usually the case, this is only one side of the story: the growing demand of their services increases their own demand on energy resources, which directly translates to increasingly higher operational costs; not to mention the detrimental impact to the environment and, as such, society as a whole. A vicious circle, or so it appears.
But actually things are not as bad as they may seem, for hidden within these very same Data Centres also lies the potential to address such environmental, economical, and societal concerns. Data Centres, being uniquely positioned at the crossroads of both energy and data networks, have the opportunity to transform themselves into key players within their local, sustainable energy management systems.
The GEYSER project aims at making this transition possible by developing a framework, comprised of a set of tools and mechanisms. This conceptual, business, and software framework enables Data Centres becoming energy sustainable, networked Data Centres effectively interacting with Smart Grids and Cities.
The idea, therefore, is for Data Centres to maximize the use of renewable energy at local level, while ensuring network stability. To that end, Data Centres take advantage of their own operational approaches, related to both energy and workload management, to offer flexibility in terms of their own energy consumption and production. In doing so, Data Centres are able to offer support services, such as ancillary and demand response services, specifically tailored to Smart Grid operators and other Smart City stakeholders, while considering optimized energy management initiatives.
This means that Data Centres can transform themselves into so called energy prosumers where they are both energy (conscious) consumers and producers. Once realized, the GEYSER framework can open the door for many new opportunities for the Data Centre sector, the energy sector and Smart Solution providers and as such contribute to their further development as open and innovative industries.