What is the real power consumption of ICT?
The European Network of Excellence (NoE) on Energy-Efficient Networking, known as TREND (Towards Real Energy-efficient Network Design), has concluded with a successful account of the project’s aim to integrate the EU research community in green networking, with a long term perspective to consolidate European leadership in the field.
As concerns around energy production and consumption grow due to issues such as climate change and the greenhouse effect, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has a role to play in maximizing energy efficiency in its area of impact. ICT is now part of our everyday life and it continues to expand in capacity and reach, taking its toll on global power consumption. Computing and networking infrastructure must therefore become more efficient if it is to grow sustainably. Additionally, ICT can be used to optimize the production, transport and consumption of energy in other setups, multiplying the positive effects of an energy-aware approach.
With this goal in mind, the TREND NoE, led by Politecnico di Torino – coordinator of a set of twelve academic and industry partners, and with Institute IMDEA Networks acting as collaborating institution – has worked for 3 years to lay down the bases for a new holistic approach to energy-efficient networking.
This project has addressed fundamental questions in order to quantitatively assess the energy demand of current and future telecom infrastructures, and to design energy-efficient, scalable and sustainable future networks. The areas of research covered are broad and consider a wide spectrum of apparatus and structures encountered in the communications world: servers and communications infrastructures, services in data centers, end-systems in home and office environments, broadband access networks, sensor networks, cloud computing, smart grids and future networks such as The Internet of Things. The resulting scientific output has been successfully evaluated in terms of its objective to deliver effective strategies and mechanisms to reduce energy consumption in current and future networks in general, and the future Internet in particular.
Institute IMDEA Networks' collaborates with the TREND NoE as part of its broader commitment to research aimed at solving real-world problems and improving social welfare. It builds on the Institute's wider research into energy efficiency, with a specific focus on more efficient ICT systems and the use of ICT in promoting wider energy usage reductions. Thus, one of the Institute's ongoing research projects is Green Network, carried out in partnership with institutions in Spain, the United States and China and focusing on theories and techniques for globally reducing energy consumption at the network level. IMDEA Networks is also active in E2NET, a national project on Energy Efficient Networks that is developing models and technologies for reducing power consumption across LAN, WAN and the data center.