Course Title: Sustainable Energy Efficient Data Storage

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Sustainable Energy Efficient Data Storage

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


140H Computer Science & Information Technology


Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011


City Campus


140H Computer Science & Information Technology


Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011

Course Coordinator: Assoc. Prof. James Thom

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2992

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You may not enrol in this course unless it is explicitly listed in your enrolment program summary, and you have confirmed with your program coordinator that it is an appropriate choice for your study plan.

Fundamental knowledge of relational database concepts, including relational modelling & design, relational algebra, SQL, and conceptual modelling, equivalent to Database Concepts, is a prerequisite.
You should also have significant experience in programming before undertaking this course.

Disclaimer: This seminar-mode course will run only if there are sufficient enrolments by the beginning of the relevant semester. If it is cancelled, you will be advised to choose a suitable alternative course.

Course Description

The information age has led to ever increasing needs for data storage as more and more information becomes stored in file systems in increasingly complex formats. As environmental concerns put pressure on commercial, government and not-for-profit organizations to develop sustainable computing solutions, how data is stored efficiently is becoming a key issue. Computing can also contribute to solving environmental problems. Topics may include: energy efficient storage devices and media, differential backups, mirror sites, data deduplication, and using computers to monitor and reduce pollution through smart use of technology.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the development of the following capabilities:

  • Critical analysis: ability to analyse and compare IT systems and software for minimising energy use.  
  • Problem solving: ability to design and implement programs to fulfill a specific set of sustainability requirements. 
  • Communication: ability to lead and participate in discussions about the impact of IT on the environment, and to research and write a report on a particular aspect of sustainable computing.

On completion of this course you should have gained a good understanding of techniques for sustainable energy efficient data storage and be able to apply these concepts into practice. Specifically, you should be able to:

  • investigate, analyse, design and implement data storage algorithms for reducing IT energy use
  • critically analyse and discuss research literature on reducing IT energy use, and how IT can contribute to reducing energy use more broadly

Overview of Learning Activities

This course will be run in a seminar mode where articles are discussed and analysed. In addition to developing knowledge of the content area you will develop skills in critical reading of research literature and in synthesising and comparing approaches to problems.

You will be expected to participate actively in the discussions, and to take it in turn to lead the discussions. Discussion leadership will involve preparation of focus questions as well as leading of the discussion in class.

You will also undertake a programming research project.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be able to access course information and learning materials through the Learning Hub and will be provided with copies of additional materials in class or via email. Lists of relevant reference texts, resources in the library and freely accessible Internet sites will be provided.

Overview of Assessment

The assessment for this course consists of oral presentations, written summaries of reading material, participation in and leading of class discussions, and a major research programming assignment.

For standard assessment details, including hurdle requirements, relating to Computer Science and IT courses see: