SURF Innovation grant 2012

SURFnet innovation grant 2012

The Software Energy Footprint Lab (SEFLab): Towards the application of green software


The SEFlab was awarded the SURFnet innovation grant 2012 to: 1) improve the measurement setup; 2) test the energy efficiency of the first software applications and 3) perform a stakeholder analyses on green software.

  1. To improve the measurement setup a team of graduation students and researchers from SIG and CleanTech worked together to develop a setup that allowed for high frequency power measurements of separate server components like the CPUs, hard drives, memory, fans, and main board. In addition various error analyses were performed and a lab manual was written.
  2. The first software applications tested in the SEFLab were the 5 most popular internet browsers: Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera. To this end the energy consumption of 4 scenarios were tested against the energy consumption of the system in idle. The results of the test (energy consumption in Joule) are summarized the table below. No clear conclusion could be drawn from these results because the energy consumption of the browsers differed over the scenarios.
  3. An internal and external stakeholder analysis was performed in which stakeholder from data centers, software developers and universities were interviewed. This led to the following conclusions:
    • Energy efficiency of software is relatively unknown but the energy savings potential is large: 30 to 90%.
    • There are no effective incentives to help industry reach this savings potential.
    • A common language is lacking between software purchaser, developers and manager to communicate about the efficiency of software.
    • At the three universities of Amsterdam (HvA, VU, UvA) there is interest to include the topic of green software in curricula.

Period: May 2012 – December 2012

Partners: SURFnet, SIG

Final report
SEFLab poster
Presentation SURF Symposium