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The use of P2P technologies, such as BitTorrent, to distribute legal content to consumers is actively being explored as a means of reducing both file download times and the energy consumption of data centers. This approach pushes the energy use out of the data centers and into the homes of content consumers (who are also then content distributors). The current BitTorrent protocol requires that clients must be fully powered-on to be participating members in a swarm. In this paper, we show that simple changes to the BitTorrent protocol, including long-lived knowledge of sleeping peers and a new wake-up semantic, can enable clients to sleep when not actively downloading or uploading yet still be responsive swarm members. Using ns-2 we simulate a green BitTorrent swarm. We show that significant energy savings are achievable with only a small performance penalty in increased file download time.
Date of Conference: 14-18 June 2009