Danish researchers from the University of Copenhagen recently developed a novel algorithm that can substantially reduce the carbon footprint of computer servers. The green transition for computer servers is an urgent matter, as they are more taxing on the climate than global air traffic. The massive amount of electricity consumed by computer servers is expected to double in a few years.

Professor Mikkel Thorup and his fellow UCPH researchers have perfected a new algorithm that solves a fundamental server issue. Some servers become overloaded as they receive more requests from users than they can handle. As consumers stream the same Netflix film or a specific video, systems need to shift users around to achieve a balanced server distribution.

He said, “We have found an algorithm that removes one of the major causes of overloaded servers once and for all. Our initial algorithm was a huge improvement over the way industry had been doing things, but this version is many times better and reduces resource usage to the greatest extent possible. Furthermore, it is free to use for all.”

The mathematical calculation to achieve the extraordinary balancing act is immensely challenging. Up to a billion servers can be involved at one time; as new clients and servers join, congestion and server failure is inevitable. This resulting resource consumption significantly influences the climate. Cisco, an American IT firm, says internet traffic is projected to triple between 2017 and 2022, with online videos making up to 82 percent of traffic.

Thorup said, “As internet traffic soars explosively, the problem will continue to grow. Therefore, we need a scalable solution that doesn’t depend on the number of servers involved. Our algorithm provides exactly such a solution.”

The new algorithm safeguards servers by segmenting them as evenly as possible, while moving them around as little as possible, and retrieving content as locally as possible.

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Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.