Energy Efficient Ethernet moves forward

* Energy Efficient Ethernet group hits milestone; readers respond on "green" articles

The IEEE's Executive Committee last week approved the project authorization request for its Energy Efficient Ethernet Study Group. That means the study group can move ahead as a task force and begin earnest work on a standard for making Ethernet more energy-efficient.

The formation of the group was a response to "market pressure and legislative action worldwide" that are "demanding" that everything networking-related reduce its use of energy, according to the group's project authorization request, or PAR.

As I've mentioned before, the group has said that many Ethernet links have long periods of little or no utilization. The group's effort will make it possible for the links to scale back energy use during these periods via the physical-layer interface.

On a related note, I recently asked you why we might not be seeing much interest in "green" issues like this one. We even linked to my newsletter from our Web site, but I only received about a half a dozen responses, which are included in the comments section of that newsletter archived on our site.

The lack of response is telling. In the responses I received, there was a certain skepticism expressed about the preaching of environmental values. There was also a recognition of hypocrisy among the preachers. Wrote one reader: "You don't burn up a million watts of amplifier power at a Life Earth rock concert, and convince people to buy energy saving light bulbs."

Another reader said that saving energy is really just common sense, so why read articles about it? "As Americans we are going to do what ever it takes to give our business a chance at being more competitive. Some of us had already figured out wasting power was still waste… I'm sure you were looking for a deeper response from people, but reading about common sense seems to also be a waste of energy to me."

To some extent, many of us are already sold on the idea of saving energy. So, perhaps energy savings is really just a feature of a device or network architecture - one aspect of the whole, and not the reason you would read an article.

However, if you are one of those who is interested in green issues per se (I received at least one comment that fell into that category), you may also be interested in the Green Your Network blog which appears on our site.

Thanks to all who wrote in.

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