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The Sustainable Network by Sarah Sorensen

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Chapter 18. Energy Efficiency Measurement

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The nicest thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from.

Andres S. Tannenbaum

As noted earlier, you can’t improve what you can’t measure. When it comes to efficiency, you must first establish a baseline by which to measure your progress, or lack thereof. Unfortunately, to date, when it comes to the network, there is really no standard energy efficiency measurement available.

While there are a whole host of standards that cover how traffic should be handled on the network, developed by a whole host of standards bodies—from IEEE to ITU to GSM (that’s how you know you are working in technology or the government: there are acronyms for the acronyms)—there is a void in standards associated with measuring the network’s overall efficiency. And that lack of standards means there is confusion caused by different vendor claims based on different criteria. Those who are tasked with evaluating and then choosing networking equipment are left scratching their heads, trying to make sense of it all.

Many existing environmental standards focus on pure energy consumption versus efficiency. This is logical, given that most of the regulations and governmental initiatives are focused on wholesale reductions of the emissions that result from consumption of energy derived via fossil fuel sources. For example, in the UK, many companies fall ...

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