Monday, May 7, 2012

European R&E networks- cloud development and Green IT

[Here are 2 good sources on the latest developments with European R&E networks on providing cloud services to their communities and Green IT.
A lot of focus on the clouds and networks in Europe is on their potential energy and carbon reduction. For the most part they are a very good summary of the issues, but I still remain concerned that most R&E networks remain too focused on mitigation rather than adaptation. We seriously need to think of the consequences of a much warmer planet and severe weather patterns. But as well we need to be conscious of a growing protest movement who are threatening to block coal trains and shut down coal plants. What will happen to your network, your cloud and your institution if there are long periods of rolling blackouts or brownouts and ultimately a time when governments order the shut down of all coal plants? Someday soon the public will wake up and realize coal plants are a lot worse than nuclear plants in terms of their environmental impact. If countries are willing to shut down their entire nuclear industry because of a very small perceived threat, it is only time before they realize we need to shut down coal.
When there is no power, energy efficiency is irrelevant. How do you build and run a network or cloud when there is little or no power from the grid? How do you provide network services to clients when they have no power? These are the questions we should be asking in terms of the design of future networks and clouds.
Another minor complaint I have is comparing cost of commercial cloud core versus that of a fully utilized core on an academic cloud. There is no question that the commercial cloud can be twice as expensive as academic cloud – even if you don’t take into account amortization expenses. But the huge advantage of commercial clouds to funding agencies is that there is no large up front expense to use the facility. Money that otherwise would be tied up in expensive hardware can be better utilized in supporting other research – BSA]

Terena Green Workshop

Green GÉANT Team advancing environmental initiatives
Case study: GEANT and GreenStar Network

CSC Building a Green Data Center in North

JISC-SURFnet-CSC workshop on clouds
R&E Network and Green Internet Consultant.
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