Business & academic partnership - Techbuyer and Interact

Astrid Wynne, Sustainability Lead at Techbuyer UK, describes some of the steps this medium sized Harrogate business took to reduce carbon emissions through server consolidation in partnership with the University of East London.

What prompted you to do this work?

Techbuyer has a commitment to sustainable business practice, circular economy and reducing group carbon emissions. Server rooms are particularly high energy users and the company wanted to increase efficiency on the hardware. To do this, we needed to calculate which machines were the most energy efficient and reduce the number of machines if possible.

What partnership work did you do?

Techbuyer conducted a two year Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University of East London. Thousands of hours of research later they developed the Interact tool that is able to calculate the best make, model and configuration of server to run a particular workload.

The Interact tool enabled us to accurately measure the energy draw of our infrastructure and compare this with thousands of other possibilities. The machine learning matched how much data processing and storage we needed against the lowest energy using servers. This enabled us to scale down the number of servers without losing on performance.

We used this knowledge to consolidate the 6 newer servers we were currently using into 3 remanufactured machines from a different brand. In doing so, Techbuyer achieved massive energy and carbon savings over time.

What savings did you make in energy, carbon and financial expense?

  • 17,429 kWh in energy draw
  • 4,460 kg CO2e reduction on the energy spend
  • 2,735 kg CO2e in supply chain carbon
  • £9081 p.a. in cost savings

How did you reduce supply chain emissions?

In using remanufactured machines, the company also saved supply chain emissions associated with new equipment.

In our case, the work showed that the optimum solution for us was a refurbished model. Having this evidence enabled us to choose a lower quantity but higher specification of refurbished server, save on supply chain carbon, and have confidence we were providing the optimum solution for cost and performance.

Where should we look if we need to know more about the carbon cost of digital?

You can find out about carbon reductions for the data centre and from this sustainability in action webinar.

Image provided by Techbuyer UK.