While it seems that ‘cloud computing’ is the next big frontier in information technology, when it comes to energy consumption it’s quite a step back. Right now, teams of researches at Carnegie Mellon University and MIT are working on a new algorithm that is designed to route internet traffic to areas where the cost of energy is lower. This move could possibly save millions of dollars that would normally be spent on massive energy bills.
The two research teams have been working with Akamai, a company that provides distributed computing solutions, to test the new rerouting algorithm and see if it could work well under the normal fluctuation of energy costs across the country. According to Technology Review, the algorithm is capable of calculating the best way to route internet traffic based on the expense of routing traffic further as opposed to how much money would be saved based on cheaper energy prices and then goes with the ‘happy medium’.
The energy cost data was made up of information from 29 major cities in the U.S. over a 39 month period, andthe study also tracked 24 days worth of Akamai’s server activity. based on the data gathered, a company could theoretically save around 40% on their energy costs if the energy use was in proportion with computing amounts.
The study concludes that if the rerouting algorithm were to be instated, companies like Amazon and Google could save millions of dollars in operating costs and also cut energy requirements for the power grid.
Technology Review also reported that a few companies have said that there are still more control and hardware improvements that need to be made to the system before they could make a judgment on the efficiency of rerouting internet traffic. The companies also emphasized that there was also no way to guarantee that energy use could be scaled back beyond just saving money.