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The concept of energy-efficient networking has begun to spread in the past few years, gaining increasing popularity. Besides the widespread sensitivity to ecological issues, such interest also stems from economic needs, since both energy costs and electrical requirements of telcos' and Internet Service Providers' infrastructures around the world show a continuously growing trend. In this respect, a common opinion among networking researchers is that the sole introduction of low consumption silicon technologies may not be enough to effectively curb energy requirements. Thus, for disruptively boosting the network energy efficiency, these hardware enhancements must be integrated with ad-hoc mechanisms that explicitly manage energy saving, by exploiting network-specific features. This paper aims at providing a twofold contribution to green networking. At first, we explore current perspectives in power consumption for next generation networks. Secondly, we provide a detailed survey on emerging technologies, projects, and work-in-progress standards, which can be adopted in networks and related infrastructures in order to reduce their carbon footprint. The considered approaches range from energy saving techniques for networked hosts, to technologies and mechanisms for designing next-generation and energy-aware networks and networking equipment.
Date of Publication: Second Quarter 2011