Data centre start-up Bamboo claims 74pc energy savings over competitors

19 Jul 2021

Image: © Framestock /

The company published a white paper in which it claimed its Arm-based architecture is four times more efficient than Dell servers.

Data centre start-up Bamboo Systems has published a white paper claiming that its Arm-based server architecture is up to 74pc more energy efficient than Dell’s PowerEdge servers.

The paper compares two hypothetical data centres, one containing Bamboo’s B1008N servers and the other Dell’s R640 servers (which it describes as “typical” of existing architectures). It then takes into account both the stated power usage of each type of server, but also the auxiliary energy requirements such as cooling and communications. This means the total power usage is affected by the floorspace taken up by each kind of server when used at scale, as well as the heat generated.

The result, it says, is that the Bamboo-powered facility needs almost three-quarters less power to deliver the same processing capacity.

Bamboo Systems was founded in 2015 and has offices in Cambridge in the UK and Silicon Valley. In late September, it raised $7m in its latest round of funding.

The company builds Arm-based servers that are marketed as significantly more compact and energy-efficient than its competitors. Its servers combine between four and eight Arm “compute nodes”, each comparable in power to a standard server, into a single unit that fits into an ordinary 1U server rack slot.

The paper says that a Dell R640 uses 912.5W of power on average and while it does not list an equivalent average power usage for the B1008N, the Bamboo system does only have two power supplies of 2600W total capacity. This means each of the eight nodes could use a maximum of 325W of power, significantly lower than each Dell server.

Thus, the company’s “conservative estimate” for the study that the base power usage of its servers would be 52pc of its competitors seems very plausible.

Tony Craythorne, Bamboo Systems’ CEO, commented: “The proof is in the numbers. Arm server-powered data centres are more energy efficient and better for the environment. We’ve known that all along.

“Now, we have the proof in a tangible and logical formula. In addition to the CO2 reduction gains, Arm-server powered data centre emissions cuts are valuable in the market for carbon offset trading, generating more than $4m annually depending upon the carbon trading requirement. It’s time for the world to embrace Arm server solutions.”

Energy usage in data centres is a topical area of research, as these facilities use an estimated 1pc of all electricity globally. In March, Vertiv Ireland’s Russ Barker wrote for Silicon Republic about the potential for Ireland to lead in this sector.

Jack Kennedy is a freelance journalist based in Dublin