A green networking idea for cloud computing and data center.

Vern Burke, SwiftWater Telecom
Biddeford, Maine

After commenting on the piece questioning whether cloud computing really saves energy, I came up with an idea that might simplify the whole energy cost of the network issue. Yup, it’s another metric! 🙂

The issue here is, how do you account for the energy cost of transferring data across the Internet to a cloud computing provider? After all, consider the massive amount of networking devices involved in the Internet and that Internet routing protocols are geared towards bandwidth efficiency rather than energy efficiency.

So, why not create an energy based routing protocol? For the sake of discussion, I’ll call this OGPF (Open Greenest Path First). Unlike OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) which looks for the shortest way from point A to point B using weighted “length” metrics, OGPF could use an energy metric for every device in the path, possibly including how the device is powered.

Now you have a network that’s automatically as green as possible and you have a way to at least get a measurable idea of what’s going on across a network wide link.


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