Discuss about the Cloud Computing for Green IT Products.
Exercise 1: Greenhouse computing
Greenhouse effect can be defined as the warming of the earth as a result of atmospheric gases (referred as greenhouse gases) absorbing, radiating, and trapping the sun’s energy close to the earth. The gases include nitrous oxide, methane, carbon dioxide, and artificial chemicals like chlorofluorocarbons released into the atmosphere from human activities ("Greenhouse effect", n.d.).
Greening IT Products:
It is true that we are required to green our IT products. Legally, there are environmental regulations in all countries that seek to minimize the cost of waste disposal and this has been adopted by manufacturing companies formulating policies geared towards environmental protection (Murugesan, 2008). Ethically as well as socially, greening IT products benefits us as well as improve the environmental conditions for sustainable life. Ethically no one would like to stay in a polluted environment therefore greening IT products is also our social responsibility.
Greening IT and Benefits
According to Murugesan (2008), green IT is concerned with production/manufacturing, usage, and disposal of IT products that have little or no impact to the environment. IT products consume a lot of electricity which has in turn placed a burden on electric grid thereby contributing to greenhouse gases. Besides the disposal of electronic devices which IT products are part of is costly. Individuals and organizations can benefit from greening IT products for efficient energy use, reuse, and recycling thereby reducing the cost of energy and waste disposal. In addition, most governments are becoming environment-conscious and impose levies for environmental pollution (Murugesan, 2008). Businesses and manufacturing companies can avoid these through IT products greening. Furthermore, investors and consumers are increasingly considering investing and purchasing of products that are environment friendly. IT companies practicing green IT stands to benefits from this as individuals become more environmental conscious.
Exercise 2: Environmental Sustainability
How to build a greener environment
According to Murugesan (2010), we can create a greener environment by ensuring that the entire lifecycle of an IT product from designing, manufacturing, usage to disposal are greener. In terms of usage, all IT products should consume less energy and in consideration of the environmental sustainability. The products should also be easy to dispose, recycle, and reuse without any environmental impact. Designers should also ensure that new products designed such as computers, servers, data centers, and cooling systems among others are consume energy efficiently in addition to being environment friendly. In the manufacturing phase of the product lifecycle, manufacturing standards should be able to address environmental concerns or issues such that products manufactured have little or no impact at all to the environment. Observing these measures throughout a product lifecycle will guarantee environment sustainability.
After a long time of neglect or unawareness of the negative impacts IT products have on the environment, IT companies and individuals are now promoting greener standards within the industry to minimize these impact. So as to create a greener environment, the design, manufacturing, usage, and disposal phases of IT product lifecycle has to ensure that these products are energy sufficient, can be refurbished, reused, and recycled. Besides, innovations in IT can lead to creation of systems that brings about efficiency in business processes in other industries resulting to minimal environmental pollution. In addition, IT can help in environmental assessments via development of decision-support systems that can help mangers in making informed decisions concerning a company’s operations in relation to environmental impact. However, Green IT can only be achieved if there is increased awareness and education of the IT professionals on the environmental impact of IT systems (Murugesan, 2010).
Exercise 3: Environmentally Sound Practices
Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE)
Power usage effectiveness (PUE) is a metric used to measure the proficiency of data centers in relation to energy consumed. This is determined by comparing the total amount of power supplied to the IT systems and the actual amount of power used by facilities in the data center (Belady, Rawson, Pfleuger, & Cader, 2008). The reciprocal of PUE gives the Data Center infrastructure Efficiency (DCiE) which is the percentage of load (power supplied) used by the IT equipment. This is expressed in equation as follows:
Data Center Efficiency
Data Center Efficiency refers to the measures taken in ensuring the data center facilities consumption of energy is efficient. This can be expressed or determined by using the PUE and DCiE metrics as outlined above.
Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency (DCiE)
DCiE is a metric for calculating the amount of load (power) used by the IT equipment at the data center to determine its efficiency in energy consumption. It is expressed in terms of percentage as shown below:
Universities offering Green Computing course
The American Public University System green computing course is called Green Computing - advanced topics. It covers current research progress and developments in areas of green computing from computer hardware, software, to emerging organizations advocating for green computing ("AMU Course: ISSC387 - Green Computing: Advanced Topics", n.d.).
Athabasca University (Canada) offers the course Green ICT Strategies ("Computer Science (COMP) 635", n.d.). This course focuses on different strategies used by private and public sectors at both local and international stage and how to apply them in working environment.
Acadia University from Canada offers Green Computing & IT (COMP 2923 A2) course that introduces students to issues raised from energy consumption by ICT systems and their impact ("Acadia University COMP 2923 X2 - Green Computing & IT", n.d.). It also highlights the concerns by governments and business organizations in promoting development and use of energy efficient systems with minimal impact to the environment.
In Sweden, Linkoping University has TDDD50 Green Computing course on offer. The course emphasizes on green computing through efficient energy consumption and gives students an opportunity to learn from various research works on green ICT ("TDDD50 Green Computing", n.d.).
The Australian National University offers ICT Sustainability (COMP7310) course. The course looks at various ways of assessing and reducing the environmental impact of ICT systems with a view to ensuring efficient energy consumption ("COMP7310: ICT Sustainability", n.d.).
Exercise 4: Major Cloud APIs
JSON is an API by Google that provides backend interface for developers to access and manipulate projects on Google cloud ("Google Cloud Storage JSON API Overview", n.d.). According to Google, it is suitable for software developers experienced in web programming for HTTP based applications.
The Developer Publishing API by Amazon enables developers to create, manage, and update their android applications hosted in the Amazon Appstore ("Developer Publishing API", n.d.). This has ease the publishing process for developers as this can be done from the building systems automatically.
GoGrid has GoGrid Basic Firewall API v2. This API provides developer with an option of defining group security policies in a VM network ("GoGrid Basic Firewall API v2", n.d.). With a single API call, developers can be able to create and deploy multiple group policies in the network.
For health application developers interested in using Microsoft health data, Microsoft provides the Microsoft Health Cloud API. With this API, developers can integrate their applications and have access to health data presented in JSON format (Microsoft Health Cloud API, n.d.).
Exercise 1: Greening IT Standards and Regulations
The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) is a tool, system, or method that helps individuals, institutions, manufacturers, and resellers to identify electronic products that are environment friendly and meet the environmental regulations according to the given region (EPEAT Program Guidelines, 2015). Managed by Green Electronics Council (GEC) organization established in 2005, the EAPEAT requires the assessment of a product’s environmental impact throughout its lifecycle, from design, manufacturing, usage, recycling, reuse, to disposal. EPEAT certified products are labeled or categorized into bronze, silver, and gold levels. This levels basically indicate the environmental performance of the product. Products that meet all criteria requirements are rate as bronze while those that meet all set criteria and 50% of the requirements categorized as optional are silver rated. Those products certified with gold ratings have met all mandatory requirements and 75% of the requirements identified as optional.
Energy star 4.0 is a standard that came into effect in 2007 defining the energy requirements, power management, and guidelines for computing device manufacturers. The standard is meant to ensure that all computer products are energy efficient with minimal consumption of energy and environmental impact (ENERGY STAR® Program Requirements for Computers, 2007). This will in turn translate to saving costs for power consumed and reduced demand on national power grids or generators of electricity. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced. All computing devices from manufacturers are required to be tested before releasing them to the market based on the test cases, power management requirements, and energy efficiency requirements set by the standard. Products that meet these requirements are labeled with the ENERGY STAR logo and users are encouraged to purchase these certified products as they consume less energy with lower environmental effects.
The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive is directive that restricts the use of certain hazardous materials or chemical elements in the manufacturing of the electrical and electronic devices ("RoHS: compliance and guidance", 2014). Electronic manufactures, distributors, resellers as well as importers are required to observe that all electrical products that fall under the restricted devices as defined by the directive do not contain the chemical levels that are deemed dangerous to human besides being an environmental hazard. Some of these restricted materials and accepted levels include Lead (0,1%), Cadmium (0,01%), Mercury (0,1%), Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) (0,1%), Hexavalent chromium (0,1%), and Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) (0,1%). Those found violating the directive will be punished as per the laws depending on the nature of the case. The directive is meant to guarantee the health of the population while minimizing pollution of environment from use of electronic devices.
Exercise 2: Green cloud computing
There are various new methods and technologies proposed to reduce energy consumption and cost. With new innovations, it is possible to regulate the frequency of microprocessors and turn off circuit blocks that are not in use to save energy. Multiple Clock Domain (MCD) processor chip are split into four regions that supports independent and varying energy consumption that can be adjusted for efficient energy consumption (Xiong, Vandenberg, & Han, 2012). There has also been development in task scheduling algorithms like 3D Computational Fluid Dynamics for rack-mounted servers that reduces the amount of power required during computational processing. To reduce the amount of power required for cooling, this has been achieved through task assignment algorithms. There are also proposed methods such as use of predictive thermal mapping tool called weatherman, use of Generic, Algorithm and Quadratic Programming for task scheduling, and deployment of sensor based thermal evaluation model.
Furthermore, even though use of Virtual Machines helps reduce the number of hardware required and consequentially energy consumption, there have been proposals to reduce further energy requirements for the virtual machines. According to Xiong, Vandenberg, and Han (2012), Nathuji and Schwan have recommended a Virtual Power approach to isolate, support, and coordinate power management policies for the VMs that will in turn reduce energy consumption. There is also significant saving on energy for cloud computing platforms as a result of consolidating applications. There are also algorithms that manage efficiently requests and schedules for processes in multi-tiered web applications for virtual environments thereby reducing energy use. For cooling purposes in mainframe computers, researchers have proposed use of chilled-liquid that has shown significant results in reducing overheating in microprocessors. Use of networking equipment that can accommodate additional network traffic and smaller hard disk drives has also been recommended to reduce energy consumption.
Exercise 3: Cloud API Functionalities
The API in the link is the unofficial Nectar API, sainsburys-nectar-api. This is a Java based API that can be used to link and collect information from user accounts at Nectar. The information can include account name, currency, offers, points balance, and account type among others ("Google Code Archive - Long-term storage for Google Code Project Hosting.", 2013).
Openstack Nova API
The API mentioned in the link is the Openstack Nova API. This API is used in conjunction with the Python API and Command-line API ("python-novaclient 3.3.2 : Python Package Index", n.d.). Using this APIs, developers can be able to interact and access data hosted in the OpenStack cloud.
Openstack is open source software that developers can use in developing public as well as private clouds ("Openstack", n.d.). In order for the developer to conveniently work with the Openstack softare, there are numerous APIs that one can work with to faster the development and deployment of a certain functionalities that the developer wants. Working through the APIs, the developer can be able to start server, instances, create images and link them with metadata instances, develop storage containers and related objects for data storage among other activities in the OpenStack cloud. Some examples of these APIs include the Data Processing API that can be used to configure Hadoop distributed database system, Domain name Server (DNS) API for configuration of the DNS services, and Container Infrastructure Management API for defining, creating, and management of storage containers. Other APIs include Compute API, Identity API, Image Service API, Messaging API, networking APi, Search API among others to facilitate the developer’s work ("OpenStack Docs: OpenStack API Documentation", 2016). The APIs are many and can be used to attain different functionalities in the OpenStack cloud depending on the application one is building.
Acadia University COMP 2923 X2 - Green Computing & IT. Acadia University. Retrieved 13 October 2016, from https://socrates.acadiau.ca/courses/comp/dsilver/2923/
AMU Course: ISSC387 - Green Computing: Advanced Topics. Apus.edu. Retrieved 13 October 2016, from https://www.apus.edu/schedule-classes/schedule/course/issc387
Belady, C., Rawson, A., Pfleuger, J., & Cader, T. (2008). GREEN GRID DATA CENTER POWER EFFICIENCY METRICS: PUE AND DCIE. Thegreengrid.org. Retrieved 13 October 2016, from https://www.thegreengrid.org/~/media/WhitePapers/White_Paper_6_-_PUE_and_DCiE_Eff_Metrics_30_December_2008.ashx?lang=en
COMP7310: ICT Sustainability. Australian National University. Retrieved 13 October 2016, from https://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/comp7310/
Computer Science (COMP) 635. Athabasca University. Retrieved 13 October 2016, from https://www.athabascau.ca/syllabi/comp/comp635.php
Developer Publishing API. Amazon Developer Portal. Retrieved 13 October 2016, from https://developer.amazon.com/developer-publishing
ENERGY STAR® Program Requirements for Computers. (2007) (1st ed., pp. 1-16). Retrieved from https://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/prod_development/revisions/downloads/computer/Computer_Spec_Final.pdf
EPEAT Program Guidelines. (2015) (1st ed., pp. 2-11). Retrieved from https://www.epeat.net/documents/EPEAT_Program_Guidelines.pdf
GoGrid Basic Firewall API v2. GoGrid. Retrieved 13 October 2016, from https://wiki.gogrid.com/index.php/API_v2:GoGrid_Basic_Firewall_API_v2#Overview
Google Cloud Storage JSON API Overview. Google Cloud Platform. Retrieved 13 October 2016, from https://cloud.google.com/storage/docs/json_api/
Google Code Archive - Long-term storage for Google Code Project Hosting.. (2013). Code.google.com. Retrieved 13 October 2016, from https://code.google.com/archive/p/sainsburys-nectar-api/
Greenhouse effect. Environment.gov.au. Retrieved 12 October 2016, from https://www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/climate-science/greenhouse-effect
Microsoft Health Cloud API (1st ed., pp. 3-49). Retrieved from https://developer.microsoftband.com/Content/docs/MS%20Health%20API%20Getting%20Started.pdf
Murugesan, S. (2008). Harnessing Green IT: Principles and Practices (1st ed., pp. 24-33). IEEE Computer Society. Retrieved from https://www.pitt.edu/~dtipper/2011/GreenPaper.pdf
Murugesan, S. (2010). Making IT Green. IT Professional, 12(2), 4-5. https://dx.doi.org/10.1109/mitp.2010.60
OpenStack Docs: OpenStack API Documentation. (2016). Developer.openstack.org. Retrieved 13 October 2016, from https://developer.openstack.org/api-guide/quick-start/
Openstack. Support.rc.nectar.org.au. Retrieved 13 October 2016, from https://support.rc.nectar.org.au/docs/openstack
python-novaclient 3.3.2 : Python Package Index. Pypi.python.org. Retrieved 13 October 2016, from https://pypi.python.org/pypi/python-novaclient
RoHS: compliance and guidance. (2014). Gov.UK. Retrieved 13 October 2016, from https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:174:0088:0110:EN:PDF
TDDD50 Green Computing. Linkoping University. Retrieved 13 October 2016, from https://www.ida.liu.se/~TDDD50/info/courseinfo.en.shtml
Xiong, N., Vandenberg, A., & Han, W. (2012). Green cloud computing schemes based on networks: a survey. IET Communications, 6(18), 3294-3300. https://dx.doi.org/10.1049/iet-com.2011.0293