Academics and researchers from Intel and Microsoft are putting the Internet under the microscope, developing strategies to cut the consumption of computer-network hardware in the belief that adjusting the flow of network traffic could create dramatic energy savings, NewScientistTech reports.
Studies have shown that a server can consume 60 percent of its peak power even when it is idle, said Jie Liu, a researcher at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Wash., studying how Internet servers use energy.
“In an extreme case, a single connection can keep a server on,” Jie Liu said.
One answer could be to slow things down. CNET reports that “research from labs at Intel and the University of California at Berkeley has found that network hardware could consume up to 80 percent less energy if allowed to sleep, or if set up for data to travel in clusters rather than in an even flow. Changes to delay the flow of data by milliseconds, not enough for Web surfers to notice, reportedly cut energy use in half.”