Feeds

IT and comms power consumption could surge in 2013

Sleep, ye routers, sleep

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

An Italian researcher has predicted that the global Internet's power demands will surge by 19 percent during 2013, compared to 2012 – and that over time, such ballooning electricity demand will become unsustainable.

In a paper published in Science last week (abstract), University of Catania researcher Diego Reforgiato urges more attention be paid to reducing unnecessary power consumption. He nominates smarter standby modes, dynamic bandwidth scaling and data centre CPU throttling as offering the most promise:

"The former will allow unused parts of a network device to be put into very low power states, where only very basic functionalities are performed. This method is key for reducing energy consumption because it will allow switching some portion of the network to a sleep mode in a smart and effective way.

“Dynamic frequency scaling allows us to trade off the energy consumption and processing capacity of internal blocks while satisfying the current traffic load and quality of service constraints. This ensures that when the system is under partial load, parts of it can be throttled to decrease the power consumption without a reduction of overall performance.”

Working with a grant from Telecom Italia on its Green Home Gateway project, Reforgiato says better management of sleep times would dramatically improve the energy efficiency of the millions of home gateways now deployed. At the micro level, he suggests that users in Italy would also save €20 on their power bills annually – something that would be reflected world-wide, since home gateways are all pretty much functionally identical.

The need for a smart standby in home routers is pretty straightforward, and shouldn't impose much of a penalty on end users, but it's up in the data centre that Reforgiato sees both the greatest challenges and potential savings. Inside the big refrigerators, excess power consumption reaches beyond the individual server to place additional demands on the cooling systems.

While there's no doubt that data centre technologies have the intelligence to damp down their demand for electricity in response to lower demand, the problem is to scale back up quickly, so end users don't suffer a performance hit. Reforgiato believes better hardware and software designs should be able to cope.

For his paper in Science Reforgiato estimated that the world's data centres consume around 270 TWh annually. While this is far less than the share taken by the world's transportation demands, computing and communications is the fast-growth market for the world's energetic electron suppliers. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.