Building the reference systems

Building the reference systems

As the SDIA runs multiple research projects, also on the design of environmentally-friendly data centers, we aim to utilize some of the existing infrastructure - in this case from the ECO-Qube project.

Requirements for test systems

  • Uses refurbished hardware
  • Either recovers the heat or uses physical renewable energy (no certificates)
  • Provisioned as bare-metal hardware (no virtualization)
    • This requirement will likely change to support Kubernetes during the course of the project
  • No proprietary hardware or software used (e.g. external energy-meters or proprietary virtualization software)

Simple prototype setup

On each test system, the following will be installed:
  • An operating system (Ubuntu)
  • A modified version of the Gitlab CI/CD runner (execution system that executes test) which can read the energy-measurements from the EDA and display it for each test
Both the EDA and the modified GitLab CI/CD runner will be developed as part of the project and made available as open-source tools for further improvement by the community.


To verify the installation of the reference systems, we perform measurements using external energy-measurement equipment, to ensure our software-based readings are correct. That equipment will be removed once the verification is completed.

List of reference data center providers

  • EMPA NEST - Swiss Materials and Technologies Laboratory
  • Blockheating - Bare-Metal Provider using heat-recovery & liquid-cooling for operating data centers and greenhouses