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Power The Internet

An Electricity-Cost-Aware Internet Routing Scheme 88

Al writes "Researchers from MIT, Carnegie Mellon and Akamai have developed a network-routing scheme that could save 'internet-scale' companies such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft million of dollars each year by moving data to locations with the best electricity prices for a particular day. The scheme simply considers both the most efficient routing path for data and the potential cost savings of routing it somewhere farther away. The researchers studied price fluctuations at locations across the country and used data from Akamai caching servers to test the idea out. In the best possible scenario — which would require more efficient servers — they estimate that companies could save as much as 40% on the electricity bills (tens of millions each year). Google already operates at least one datacenter that shuts down when temperatures get too high. Is this the next logical step for internet computing?"
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An Electricity-Cost-Aware Internet Routing Scheme

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  • by rodrigoandrade ( 713371 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @10:34AM (#29091659)
    Will the savings from this measure be passed on to consumers in the form of lower prices?? If so, I'm all for it; else, screw this, I won't take a performance hit on the Internets just to make some CEO and stockholders even richer.
  • artistic license (Score:3, Interesting)

    by xzvf ( 924443 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @10:55AM (#29091975)
    Don't forget moving data to avoid taxation (someone political/evil) is going to get the bright idea of taxing transactions in a data center eventually), prosecution (might have to move the people executing the transactions, I picture cruse ships in international waters for online porn and gambling eventually, which brings up the issue of pirates, but that's another topic), and law suits (someone sues, infringing a patent, divorce - migrate your business to a friendly location).
  • Hang the latency... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @10:56AM (#29091979) Journal
    When asked whether deciding to route based on electricity prices, a spokesman for the group said "Hang the latency. We don't care if the packets take two or three times as long to get where they're going as long as our costs go down. Not only that, but we're marketing this as 'green networking', which means we'll be able to charge more for it. Everybody wants to be green these days. It's a great scam... I mean scheme."
  • Low Datacenter Costs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lobiusmoop ( 305328 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @10:57AM (#29091991) Homepage

    On the subject of data center running costs, why are there not more data centers in Iceland? The cold climate (to minimize cooling costs, which can be 50% of the total power drain in hot climates) combined with cheap renewable geothermal electricity would make it ideal I think.

  • by Fastolfe ( 1470 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @12:00PM (#29093045)

    For companies that are latency-sensitive (like Google), it doesn't make sense to serve a lot of traffic out of Iceland (except to Icelanders, perhaps).

  • Shades of rn? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HTH NE1 ( 675604 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @02:40PM (#29095703)

    The kids these days probably don't remember this bit of text, but it used to be the standard warning before sending a posting out to a network which we talk about in exactly the same way you talk about fight club:

    This program posts news to thousands of machines throughout
    the entire civilized world. Your message will cost the net
    hundreds if not thousands of dollars to send everywhere.

    Are you absolutely sure that you want to do this? [yn]

    And that was just for sending text messages usually under 4 KB in size.

    And now they talk about cost-aware routing?

In English, every word can be verbed. Would that it were so in our programming languages.