Sufficient data center: off-grid scheduling for environmentally responsible users


Avoiding the ecological catastrophe will require a joined effort from every actor of society. Our intensive and growing use of digital technologies must be questioned. We postulate that some environmental-aware individuals are willing to reflect upon and reduce the footprint associated to their digital usages.

Similarly to the Low-tech Magazine[1], a solar-powered and very lightweight website, this internship will study an off-grid “sufficient”[2] data center in which a part of the users accepts to contribute to the environmental effort. In a previous work[3], we characterized the expected gains of four user submission behaviors: delaying, degrading, reconfiguring and renouncing the execution of tasks. This internship will study how these levers can help to match the intermittent renewable production.

Objective of the internship

  1. Review the literature on user-aware and renewable-aware scheduling in data centers.
  2. Precise a specific case study: task model, workload, size of data center, category of users…
  3. Adapt the existing user submission behaviors and propose new ones in the context of renewable energy intermittency
  4. Implement these behaviors in the datacenter simulator Batsim thanks to the layer Batmen developed in our team and enabling the simulation of users
  5. Conduct an experimental campaign to conclude on the sustainability of this approach.

Expected ability of the student

  • Fluent in French or English
  • Programming skills (knowledge of C++ and Python is a plus)
  • Strong environmental concern
  • Knowledge on distributed systems and scheduling is a plus

Practical details

The internship will take place at IRIT, the largest computer science research institute in Toulouse, in the SEPIA research team. It will be supported by the ANR Project Datazero2 studying datacenters solely powered by renewable energies.

The student will be supervised by Maël Madon (PhD student, and Georges Da Costa (MCF HdR, in friendly atmosphere :-). A computer and an office will be provided, as well as a monthly internship stipend of ~600€.

We also propose other internship topics in our team, check them here and do not hesitate to contact us.



[2] T. Santarius et al., “Digital sufficiency: conceptual considerations for ICTs on a finite planet,” Ann. Telecommun., May 2022, doi: 10.1007/s12243-022-00914-x.

[3] M. Madon, G. Da Costa, and J.-M. Pierson, “Characterization of Different User Behaviors for Demand Response in Data Centers,” in Euro-Par 2022: Parallel Processing, Cham, 2022, pp. 53–68. doi: 10.1007/978-3-031-12597-3_4.