The EU (European Union) Ecodesign Regulation on servers and data storage products has been adopted and published in the Official Journal of the EU. It is Regulation (EU) 2019/424 (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32019R0424). This is a very important development that will help reduce the energy consumption of digital infrastructures in Europe by reducing server idle power consumption, among many other things.
Low server utilisation is perhaps one of the key problems we have when it comes to energy waste. When servers are running idle (i.e., doing no useful work), they still consume 30% to 70% of their energy, which also requires the underlying data centre power and cooling infrastructure to be operational (and consuming energy). According to our research findings under the EURECA project, the average server utilisation in Europe ranges between 15% to 25%, with the occasional high performer averaging at 30% or so. A recent report from the USA showed similar figures (avg 20% utilisation and predicted this going up to 25% by 2020). So, the potential environmental impact from this regulation, which will help phase out low energy performing technologies and encourage the uptake of more energy efficient server and storage designs, such as those available through the Open Compute Project (OCP), will be huge.
This is a very exciting opportunity that will help increase energy efficiency in data centres by addressing IT equipment.
The 2019 OCP Regional Summit will be held September 26-27 in Amsterdam, Netherlands where this issue, among many others specific to the European region, will be addressed. Learn more at: https://www.opencompute.org/summit/regional-summit