Memoranda Blog

Memoranda Blog

Reducing Energy consumption for large web archives

By hosting hundreds of Terabytes of Web data, Internet Memory considers its energy footprint as an important challenge to address. In this present post, we focus on green and innovative solutions we decide to implement on Internet Memory infrastructure.

Hosting infrastructure, a strategic question for a Web archive

On the one hand, IM is conscious that Web archiving field (as ICT in general) is part of the problem with the resources and energy it consumes (such as the majority of datacenters). On the other, we believe that the Web deserves a memory, because this media is pervasive in our society, and certainly today one of its most important representation. As we now store data in the Petabyte ranges, we had to do something about this.

Green IT for a Web archive? Yes, it is possible.

Since it’s inception in 2005, Internet Memory (then called European Archive), has been working on reducing its energy footprint, by using servers built from low power consumption parts (the so-called red boxes, also used by The Internet Archive). Although used in a traditional datacenter, they contribute significantly to the overall energy efficiency of the datacenter where they are hosted in Amsterdam. This already puts the first IM Datacenter above the standard of the industry in this regard.

But IM wanted to go one step further, and this required leaving behind traditional datacenters, which are, by design, heavy users of energy and cooling resources. In collaboration with No Rack which is specialized in Green IT, we went on to use a new generation of servers and infrastructures, dedicated to massive storage, with a highly scalable architecture, a very low consumption and… without cooling.
Today, this new infrastructure is operational in our Paris ‘Datacenter’ and it can support up to 1,2 Petabytes of data.

New Internet Memory Datacenter

That’s the result of improvements at several levels, including a new design of cylindrical ‘rack’, which enables a free cooling system and a lower energy consumption at all levels (servers, disks and motherboards).

The free-cooling system has been made possible due to a very low thermic diffusion (for 72 nodes, IM datacenter is set between 5300 W and 6300 W depending on the configuration of server class) and due to an innovative design, which enables natural heat extraction.

Here’s a comparison between a regular datacenter and IM datacenter:
These figures highlight an economy of kW, which represents a carbon footprint 8 times lower (22,000 kg CO2, instead of 180,000 kg CO2).

Internet Memory Architecture and process

Internet Memory has implemented an efficient distributed architecture, which enables virtualization, better performances and faster processes.
Thus, all Archive users share Internet Memory infrastructure and applications, which ensures maximization of storage utilisation and reduction in the number of devices required, saving energy and costs.

If you are interested to know more, drop us a line, or come and we will organize a visit for you!


by: Chloé Martin,


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