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Saving energy in LAN switches: New methods of packet coalescing for Energy Efficient Ethernet

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2 Author(s)
Mehrgan Mostowfi ; Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of South Florida, Tampa, USA ; Ken Christensen

Small or home office (SOHO) Ethernet LAN switches consume about 8 TWh per year in the U.S. alone. Despite normally low traffic load and numerous periods of idleness, these switches typically stay fully powered-on at all times. With the standardization of Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE), Ethernet interfaces can be put into a Low Power Idle (LPI) mode during idle periods when there are no packets to transmit. This paper proposes and evaluates a new EEE policy of synchronous coalescing of packets in network hosts and edge routers. This policy provides extended idle periods for all ports of a LAN switch and thus enables energy savings deeper than in the Ethernet PHY only. We evaluate our method using an ns-2 simulation model of a LAN switch. We show that our method can reduce the overall energy use of a LAN switch by about 40%, while introducing limited and controlled effects on typical Internet traffic and TCP.

Published in:

Green Computing Conference and Workshops (IGCC), 2011 International

Date of Conference:

25-28 July 2011