Green Networking

Slashdot reported today that Bell Labs formed the Green Touch Consortium which is aiming for a 1000x decrease in network energy usage. And they want to do it by 2015.

This is a huge effort, since network hardware is immensely ubiquitous, and according to Acaltel-Lucent, it puts out 300 million tonnes of CO2 every year. Interestingly, they do seem to be focused primarily around mobile networks, given the members, but that makes a lot of sense, given that wireless looks like it’s going to become more, not less, common.

Mostly, it’s just really good to see the focus on the newer technology, though given the nature of the consortium, I have some concerns about this new ‘Green’ networking technology being prohibitively expensive as it become available. Though, since much of it’s going to be backend, non-consumer hardware, it may not likely be much of a concern. I just don’t see myself needing to buy a cell tower…ever.

At the end of the day, this does seem to be a push by Alcatel-Lucent to save their flagging business, and in that case I need to give Alcatel credit for reinventing themselves in a potentially responsible way, and I have hopes that the Green Touch Consortium will be able to accomplish their goal, and I’ll be keeping an eye on what they’re working on.