Green Networking Solutions

Green Networking Solutions

The information and technology age has changed modern life for the better. Nearly everything associated with the digital age has been positive. Some people will point to the fact that emails and digital record keeping eliminate the need for paper from timber. However, all the constant communication poses other threats to the environment. This is especially true for information and communications technology (ICT), which consumes power in a number of different ways.

Electricity’s Dirty Little Secret

There’s a common misconception that AC electricity is a clean source of energy. Unfortunately, many power companies actually generate that electricity by burning coal. ICT also directly contributes to global warming through heat dissipation. This is especially true for US government facilities where Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) accounts for nearly half of the data center’s total energy consumption.

When electrical currents run through the tungsten filament in the oven, it generates heat. This is similar to what happens in a light bulb. Tungsten is a semi-conductor of electricity, and so it resists the electrical flow. There’s a great deal of heat and light generated by what is essentially friction. Even though the internal electrical components use copper, there’s still a minimal amount of heat lost. When there are miles of wiring within a single computer room, keeping it cool can become expensive. Fortunately, more companies are realizing the demand for green networking solutions and now, several viable options are being offered.

Green Networking Solutions

Network Virtualization

This is a relatively new term that refers to virtualizing the analog aspects of a computing network. The Compact Disc (CD) represented the first time that most people were ever exposed to digital quality music. However, the CD itself was actually analog while the MP3 player stores music without the use of the analog medium. Network virtualization consists of platform virtualization and resource virtualization. Both consist of replacing analog parts with virtual technology. This is done for either internal or external virtualization, the two main components of network virtualization.

External virtualization consists of combining and creating subdivisions from local area networks (LAN’s) into virtual networks. This allows the administrator to more easily configure a system. Internal virtualization configures software with containers to mimic a physical network. A great example of this is cloud serving, a service that saves money and energy.

What is Cloud Computing?

The computer rooms get so hot, because there are many different machines simultaneously working. However, many of the services being performed by these machines can be performed off site. This is known as cloud computing, a relatively new service that can substantially reduce an electric bill. It’s necessary to understand the cloud in order to understand cloud computing.

Data Storage is a big part of computing, but the data doesn’t have to be stored at the facility. There are a number of different companies dedicated to cloud data storage. Other services can also be leased to cloud computing services, which reduce the size of a computer room, and the resources needed to keep it cool.

Everything from monitoring to communication can be handled by computers at an off site facility, because the computers in any network can access these resources via the cloud. Another advantage to cloud computing is network safety. When the entire network is connected at a central location, the entire network is susceptible to viruses and other threats.

However, the biggest advantage to cloud computing is the financial savings a company can experience. This is especially true for smaller companies that may not be able to purchase a room full of computers. Cloud computing services charge a monthly or annual fee for the services. This is substantially more affordable than a rack full of servers. Unfortunately, cloud services may actually be more expensive in the long run.

Cloud computing charges fees on a repeating basis whereas there is a flat fee for the analog servers. Therefore, the cloud services are much more expensive when projected out over a matter of years. The same is true for a financed vehicle, but people rarely pay cash for a new car. They would if they could afford to, but paying the additional fees is a nominal penalty to get the necessary services now. The same is true for cloud computing, because lots of small businesses might not be able to get the computing services they need when the equipment is far beyond their starting budgets.