By Parvez Syed Mohamed, Global Product Manager, Modular Switches, HP Networking
Saving money has been the hot topic at home recently. Almost all my friends have started dumping their cable provider. Moreover providers like Netflix and Amazon claim to make streaming video a breeze.
When it comes to significant others. . . their demands for watching TV are pretty simple: “Make sure nothing changes.” I translate this as: “Make sure nothing changes OR ELSE.”
So, I set upon this supposedly easy task of repurposing my dust-gathering PC to be my new digital cable box and hooking up yet another remote. After spending a whole weekend on this, the verdict is: “Change it back!!” And I agree. It was a painful transition, with all the user experience and quality of service we were used to just disappearing.
From home video streaming to corporate networks, saving money on technology should be easier
You should just be able to buy your new gizmo, hook it up and just see the dollars gather in your bank account. Unfortunately things in the networking world are not much different either. When some company says you will save money, it usually means investing in expensive new equipment, having your staff go through a new learning curve and finally saving imaginary dollars far into the future.
One technology stands out from the rest: Energy-Efficient Ethernet
The recent IEEE standard (802.3az) could help save 5 terawatt-hours of energy year in the U.S. alone, reducing carbon footprint by roughly by 5 million tons per year when fully deployed*.
Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) is a physical-layer standard that reduces network power consumption by disabling transmit logic when there are idle periods. The key to achieving the benefits of EEE is when port traffic is underutilized. Industry sources believe that average traffic intensity is less than 10% of peak traffic loads. EEE works right out of the box and does not need any management software that requires additional overhead or monitoring. When two EEE devices are connected, the consumer starts realizing the energy savings right away.
Depending on traffic patterns and idle periods, power savings can be fairly substantial because PHY power consumption is second only to Packet Processing silicon. And because EEE is an inter-network versus an internal power-saving mechanism, power savings are achieved on both the receiver and the transmitter switch. The periods of power saving enablement are controlled by a standard link protocol negotiated on both sides of a link. Thus, the energy savings are in real time and can be realized across the connected network devices.
“E” is for easy
Ok, at first I was really apprehensive. I understand the technology—put equipment in low power state when link is idle. But will it really translate into dollar savings? What about ease of use? Do I need to learn anything to set it up?
In a typical office, employees are active from about 7 am till about 6 pm. Most networks—even while fully active—are utilized only to about 10% of their bandwidth. I asked my colleagues in the lab for an in depth analysis. What they came back with just astounded me.
To set up EEE, all you need to do with HP equipment is to just connect two EEE compliant devices. No really, that’s all you need to do. Everything else is automatic.
To measure energy savings, the test bed was a simple traffic generator coupled with a 24-port 1G PoE+ v2 module in our 5400 series switch. When all ports are linked with no traffic, the module consumes ~23W when EEE is disabled and ~16W when EEE is enabled. A whopping 30% power savings when employees have stepped away from work. Extrapolating for a campus with 500 users at the edge, assuming a 10-hour workday, you could potentially save $88,623** . In one year, the savings could pay for replacing all your edge networking switches***.
People, this is a no brainer. . . just energy savings should be enough to convince you to adopt EEE. And the ease of use of EEE is just unbelievable. When it comes to networking equipment, what better way to save money then to buy reliable, rightly priced edge switches with lifetime warranty from HP?
**7/24(watts saved per 1G port)*(118 hours per week when equipment is idle)*( 50 number of weeks)*(500 number of employees)*( 10.3 cents : average commercial utility rate in the USA) = $88,623
***Assuming 2 fully loaded 5412 switches (J9540) at the edge bundles ($15,599 x 2) + 14 v2 24p 1G zl module (14 x $3,600) = $81,600 at list price.