Glasgow: COP26 and OpenUK's 'Patchwork Kilt' Edge data center blueprint

Nov 12, 2021 | Posted by MadalineDunn

At the COP26 event in Glasgow, OpenUK shared its net-zero data center blueprint. The not-for-profit organisation's "Patchwork Kilt" framework aims to make new Edge data centers more sustainable and promote the curricular economy. 

The project proposes using derelict building stock and creating smaller data centers closer to the end-user; moreover, the project will produce more energy efficiency and promote curricular economy benefits through using local locations. This, the project hopes will make the data centers part of the community they're in, through heat sharing systems etc.

Eclipse Foundation has been handed the project for future development. That said, so far, there have been a number of different contributors, including; OpenUK, the Open Compute Project, the Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance (SDIA), ITRenew, the Scottish 5G center and the Octopus Energy center for Net Zero.

Speaking about what the project means for the future of the data center industry, Amanda Brock, CEO at OpenUK, said: "Projects like this one can demonstrate a lasting impact on energy efficient computing and data centre design, based on making the most of circular economy design and open source hardware and software together. We think this is the first time this approach has been taken, and we are pleased that the Eclipse Foundation will support getting more users to take advantage of this work. We're also pleased that the name – Patchwork Kilt – will be a reminder of the COP26 conference and the role that this conference will play in how companies and communities respond to the climate crisis."

Meanwhile, Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director at the Eclipse Foundation, said: "The demand for data centres is not abating and the amount of power required by new applications and services will grow. As the Internet of Things grows and edge computing develops, the Patchwork Kilt project represents an innovative approach to carbon neutral implementations.We are very happy to accept this project alongside our existing open source IoT and supply chain projects which are used to benefit millions of people every day."

John Laban, European Director at the Open Compute Project Foundation: "So what is the central and urgent mission for COP26? Methinks it is to solve a planetary wide climate emergency and without doubt this is a complex systems problem, so that's why all of the keynotes on day one at COP26 emphasised the need for worldwide open collaboration."

He added: "The largest machine ever made by Homo Sapiens is the Internet and the most complex puzzle ever solved by Homo Sapiens is probably mapping the Human Genome and both of these were achieved by forming worldwide open collaborative commons. The millions of Open source technology hackers/makers working today can contribute hugely to the actions required to solve the climate emergency so why not use them and learn from them the art of complex systems collaboration to solve the climate emergency problem fast."