New book tackles issues of green computing
The book, Green Information Technology: A Sustainable Approach, details the latest information on emerging technologies and their environmental impact as well as discussing sustainable hardware and software design. It also considers how to effectively measure sustainability; how to use big data and cloud computing to drive efficiencies and establish a framework for sustainability in the information technology infrastructure; as well as providing relevant case studies to illustrate these skills.
Professor Mohammad Dastbaz, one of the book’s editors, explained: “We are living in an era of amazing technological changes. With more than two billion computers across the world and 48 billion web pages indexed by some 900,000 servers, the era of ‘Big Data’ and how we use it on a daily basis, and the environmental impact of storing and safeguarding this data, have become critical issues facing system developers and researchers across the globe.
“Our new book is the first to offer, in a single volume, a broad collection of practical techniques and methodologies for designing, building, and implementing a green technology strategy in any large enterprise environment.”
Green Information Technology: A Sustainable Approach has been edited by Professor Mohammad Dastbaz, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Environment and Technology at Leeds Beckett, Professor Colin Pattinson, Head of the School of Computing, Creative Technologies and Engineering, at Leeds Beckett, and Professor Babak Akhgar, Professor of Informatics at Sheffield Hallam University.
Professor Colin Pattinson added: “IT developments over the past 20 years have enabled the generation, processing, storage and transfer of data to an extent that mere numbers fail to properly represent the growth. What is apparent is that this growth had led to a massive increase in the resources needed to make and operate the networks, servers and data centres which make this possible; resources which include the raw materials which go into every ‘IT’ device and - very significantly - the energy required to keep them operating.
“For a number of years the focus has been on reducing energy use, particularly in the data centres, but recently there has been more interest in the use of IT to enable energy efficiencies in other parts of society. This book includes contributions from researchers across the Green IT sphere, and covers both the management of IT energy and the potential for IT to help resource saving. It includes a number of case studies which provide real-life application of the theories discussed.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that centralised computing infrastructures (data centres) currently use seven giga watts of electricity during peak loads. This translates to about 61billion kilowatt hours of electricity used. By these estimates, power-hungry data centres consume the annual output of 15 average-sized power plants. One of the top constraints to increasing computing power, besides the ability to cool, is simply delivering enough power to a given physical space.
Bob Crooks MBE, Chair of the British Computer Society Green Specialist Group, said: “This book delivers a comprehensive perspective of the challenges brought by our increasing demand for digital services and raises the perennial question as to whether we can sustain the growth of these services to meet that rising demand or we overload the Internet with unforeseen consequences for our lives.”