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Environmental Data Agent

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Environmental Data Agent

At the heart, the environmental data agent is a database that collects metrics from across IT & data center infrastructure, enriches it using external data, e.g. on the emissions from electricity or embodied emissions of different components, and makes it available as visualization, a dashboard, and a technical interface (API) for further integration into other systems.
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IT and data center infrastructure is complex β€” If you are wondering about terms such as OT, DCIM, API or any other technical terms, use our Glossary. Glossary β†’

A Sustainability Dashboard for Digital Infrastructure

As the EDA is receiving data from across the entire the OT infrastructure, it becomes possible to use this data to calculate most of the key sustainability indicators alongside with efficiency metrics.
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The EDA is designed to render three different dashboards (however, due to the use of Grafana, custom dashboards can be created):

  • Sustainability Data (based on our data center scorecard)
  • Efficiency Data (based on the metrics from the EN50600 and other standards, see our overview)
  • Transparency Data (making information public - on business or environmental performance - available that is not included in the scorecard or metrics)

All of these dashboards support β€˜zooming in and zooming out’ and can display information on facility, data hall, cage or rack-level.

These dashboards can be made public, can be made available only to customers, or can be used as an ESG reporting tool for investors. In addition to the visual display of the data, an API is provided that enables customers to receive their hall-, cage- or rack-specific information in a technical, standardized way, e.g. to integrate in their own reporting tools.

The data collected by the EDA is enriched using external or SDIA data sources:

  • Embodied carbon and resource usage for data center equipment (UPS systems, rack, switch gear, cooling systems) is automatically determined from the SDIA Product Passport database (when available)
  • Emission factor of the electricity for the location of the data center is provided by ElectricityMap.org
  • Emissions and pollution from backup generators (depending on fuel type) are calculated automatically
  • Embodied carbon & resource usage of IT hardware is provided by Boavizta API and SDIA Open Data Hub (if the facility owns the hardware)
  • Embodied carbon & resource usage of network equipment is provided by SDIA Open Data Hub (if a product passport is available)
  • Overhead calculations (e.g. office space, travel, and other Scope 1 & 2 data points) can be added manually

Further the EDA contains a database of fixed conversion factors, emission factors and calculation models that enable the conversion of physical observation data (e.g. electricity, water flow, etc.) into sustainability metrics (carbon, resource depletion, pollution) even if no external data is available (using static emission and conversion factors).

On-Site Deployment of the EDA

Enabling the sustainability dashboard does not require reporting or sending the data to an external server or Cloud service. The EDA can be deployed a dedicated server or controller which sits inside the actual digital infrastructure. This also allows granular configuration, e.g. if customer IT systems can access the information from inside the facility, or if the data should be delivered by an internal DCIM, or if the dashboard should be publicly accessible on the internet.

Existing DCIM are a data source

If there is an existing DCIM system in place at the data center facility, it can be used to report the relevant information to the EDA, where the enrichment and conversion of the data into sustainability metrics can be performed. DCIM’s can connect to the EDA API and register the equipment as well as provide the metrics through a Prometheus API that is part of the EDA.

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Our Environmental Data Agent is open source. The API documentation shows how to register the equipment (inventory) of a facility. The measurements of the metrics are supplied via a Prometheus API. See the documentation β†’

The EDA is a set of APIs that receive data from both IT and OT

This repository contains (1) the methodology for calculating the environmental footprint (including carbon emissions) of server-side applications and (2) the API specification on how to expose the measured footprint as an API within IT infrastructure software. The specification is developed and governed by theΒ Digital Carbon Footprint Steering Group (SG) of theΒ SDIA.