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ASI Seed Money: Sustainable Cloud Software for Built Environments

22 April 2022
Another winning project of the latest ASI seed money edition is this project about sustainable cloud software for the Built Environment: An Open Archive of Tactics

There is significant concern about the steep global growth of the datacenter industry and the related energy footprint. How to evolve digital infrastructures so that the cloud becomes sustainable, is a crucial problem that needs to be addressed. Current solutions rely on utilizing green energy resources to keep the classic centralized hyperscale data centers running. This implies that, to keep hyperscale data centers running, green resources have often to be taken away from other consumers, such as other industrial sectors, or private entities.

While the sustainable disaggregation of data centers was classically considered as a purely software engineering challenge, it is no longer negligible that the problem is also of an urban sustainability nature. In fact, only by acknowledging the socio-economic implications of the strategic digital cloud placement, and applying spatial economics tactics, the sustainable development of distributed clouds can be supervised, guided, and in the end successfully achieved. Sustainable cloud environments require well designed built environments, allowing the seamless software-enabled placement of data and computational tasks to follow time, space, and energy.

With this project, we aim at uncovering tactics that combine technical software solutions for distributed clouds (from computer science) and novel business- and behavioral models for the built environment (from economics). The combination can help achieve cloud sustainability.

VU Amsterdam Researchers:

  • Patricia Lago, Professor in Software Engineering and Sustainability, Faculty of Science
  • Roberto Verdecchia, Research Associate, Faculty of Science, Software and Sustainability (S2)
  • Henri L.F. de Groot, Professor in Regional Economic Dynamics, Department of Spatial Economics
  • Robin van der Wiel, Research assistant

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