GreenTouch release tools and technologies to significantly reduce mobile networks energy consumption

Mobile Phone

Mobile industry consortium GreenTouch today released tools and technologies which, they claim, have the potential to reduce the energy consumption of communication networks by 98%

The world is now awash with mobile phones.

According to Ericsson’s June 2015 mobility report [PDF warning], the total number of mobile subscriptions globally in Q1 2015 was 7.2 billion. By 2020, that number is predicted to increase another 2 billion to 9.2 billion handsets.

Of those 7.2 billion subscriptions, around 40% are associated with smartphones, and this number is increasing daily. In fact, the report predicts that by 2016 the number of smartphone subscriptions will surpass those of basic phones, and smartphone numbers will reach 6.1 billion by 2020.

Number of connected devices

When you add to that the number of connected devices now on mobile networks (M2M, consumer electronics, laptops/tablets/wearables), we are looking at roughly 25 billion connected devices by 2020.

That’s a lot of data passing being moved around the networks. And, as you would expect that number is increasing at an enormous rate as well. There was a 55% growth in data traffic between Q1 2014 and Q1 2015, and there is expected to be a 10x growth in smartphone traffic between 2014 and 2020.

So how much energy is required to shunt this data to and fro? Estimates cite ICT as being responsible for the consumption of 2% of the world’s energy, and mobile networking making up roughly half of that. With the number of smartphones set to more than double globally between now and 2020, that figure too is shooting up.

Global power consumption by telecommunications networks

Fortunately five years ago an industry organisation called GreenTouch was created by Bell Labs and other stakeholders in the space, with the object of reducing mobile networking’s footprint. In fact, the goal of GreenTouch when it was created was to come up with technologies reduce the energy consumption of mobile networks 1,000x by 2015.

Today, June 18th in New York, they announced the results of their last five years work, and it is that they have come up with ways for mobile companies to reduce their consumption, not by the 1,000x that they were aiming for, but by 10,000x!

The consortium also announced

research that will enable significant improvements in other areas of communications networks, including core networks and fixed (wired) residential and enterprise networks. With these energy-efficiency improvements, the net energy consumption of communication networks could be reduced by 98%

And today GreenTouch also released two tools for organisations and stakeholders interested in creating more efficient networks, GWATT and Flexible Power Model.

They went on to announce some of the innovations which led to this potential huge reduction in mobile energy consumption:


  • Beyond Cellular Green Generation (BCG2) — This architecture uses densely deployed small cells with intelligent sleep modes and completely separates the signaling and data functions in a cellular network to dramatically improve energy efficiency over current LTE networks.
  • Large-Scale Antenna System (LSAS) — This system replaces today’s cellular macro base stations with a large number of physically smaller, low-power and individually-controlled antennas delivering many user-selective data beams intended to maximize the energy efficiency of the system, taking into account the RF transmit power and the power consumption required for internal electronics and signal processing.
  • Distributed Energy-Efficient Clouds – This architecture introduces a new analytic optimization framework to minimize the power consumption of content distribution networks (the delivery of video, photo, music and other larger files – which constitutes over 90% of the traffic on core networks) resulting in a new architecture of distributed “mini clouds” closer to the end users instead of large data centers.
  • Green Transmission Technologies (GTT) – This set of technologies focuses on the optimal tradeoff between spectral efficiency and energy efficiency in wireless networks, optimizing different technologies, such as single user and multi-user MIMO, coordinated multi-point transmissions and interference alignment, for energy efficiency.
  • Cascaded Bit Interleaving Passive Optical Networks (CBI-PON) – This advancement extends the previously announced Bit Interleaving Passive Optical Network (BiPON) technology to a Cascaded Bi-PON architecture that allows any network node in the access, edge and metro networks to efficiently process only the portion of the traffic that is relevant to that node, thereby significantly reducing the total power consumption across the entire network.

Now that these innovations are released, mobile operators hoping to reduce their energy costs will be looking closely to see how they can integrate these new tools/technologies into their network. For many, realistically, the first opportunity to architect them in will be with the rollout of the 5G networks post 2020.

Mobile phone mast

Having met (and exceeded) its five year goal, what’s next for GreenTouch?

I asked this to GreenTouch Chairman Thierry Van Landegem on the phone earlier in the week. He replied that the organisation is now looking to set a new, bold goal. They are looking the energy efficiency of areas such as cloud, network virtualisation, and Internet of Things, and that they will likely announcement their next objective early next year.

I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

Mobile phone mast photo Pete S


Schneider Electric – focussed on making organisations more efficient

Schneider Influencer Summit

We were invited to attend this year’s Schneider Electric Influencer Summit and jumped at the chance. Why? Schneider Electric is a fascinating company with fingers in lots of pies, and we were keen to learn more about this company.

Schneider Electric was founded in 1836, so the company is coming up on 180 years old. Schneider reported revenue of almost €23.5bn in 2013, of which €1.9bn was profit, and employs in the order of 152,000 people globally. So, not an insignificant organisation.

The Influencer Summit coincided with the opening of its Boston One campus, Schneider Electric’s new facility in Andover. This site is now Schneider’s main R&D lab, as well as its North American HQ. Situating its main R&D labs in its HQ says a lot about how Schneider views the importance of research and development. In fact, at the event Schneider EVP and North American CEO Laurent Vernerey, reported that Schneider devotes 4-5% of sales to R&D annually.

At the influencer event, we discovered the breath of Schneider’s portfolio went far beyond what we were aware of. Not only are they heavily involved in electrical automation, control and distribution systems, but they also help make highly energy efficient data centres (they bought APC back in 2007), they have building management solutions, a cybersecurity suite (developed especially for critical infrastructure), water management solutions, a smart cities business, a weather forecasting arm (with a staff of 80 meteorologists!), and a strong services division. See, fingers in lots of pies!

Schneider Electric, as its name suggests, was traditionally more of a hardware company, but with the move to the digitisation of infrastructure, that has changed fundamentally, and Schneider is now very much a software company as well as a hardware one. Of the 20,000 employees in North America, 1,200 are software engineers.

This digitisation of infrastructure is happening at an ever increasing pace, helped by the constantly falling price of electronics and sensors. If it costs a mere $2.50 to put an SoC on a piece of infrastructure, why wouldn’t you do it? Particularly when adding the SoC makes the device IP addressable. Now it can report back on its status in realtime. As Schneider CMO Chris Hummel said, “connected systems will fundamentally change everything”.

Addressing potential security issues associated with making critical infrastructure IP addressable Schneider said that connected devices are more secure than disconnected devices because they can be monitored, and everything that’s done to them can be tracked.

With that in mind, it is not surprising that Schneider is a member of the Industrial Internet Consortium.

While it is always instructive to hear a company’s executives talking about their organisation, it is always far more interesting to hear their customers speak. And this event didn’t disappoint on that score. The customer speaker in this case was Todd Isherwood, the Energy Efficiency and Alternative Energy project manager for the City of Boston. Todd discussed how the City of Boston, with 15,000 employees, 2,700 utility accounts and a $50m electricity spend was working with Schneider Electric on its journey to becoming a more sustainable city.

Boston launched its Greenovate Boston campaign, it passed its Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO). This Ordinance requires Boston’s large- and medium-sized buildings to report their annual energy and water use to the City of Boston, after which the City makes the information publicly available. All of which will have helped Boston achieve its ranking of most energy efficient city in the US.

The biggest takeaway from the event though, was that Schneider Electric is, at its core, hugely interested in helping organisations become more efficient. And seemingly for all the right reasons. That’s not something you can say about many companies. And because of that, we’ll be watching Schneider with great interest from here on out.

Disclosure – Schneider Electric paid my travel and accommodation expenses to attend this event.


Smartphone energy management – when will there be an app for that?

Mobile energy saving app?

I wrote a post last week about mobile endpoint management applications and their potential to extend smartphone battery life. It seems it was a prescient piece given the emergence this week of a study from Purdue University and Microsoft Research showing how energy is used by some smartphone applications [PDF].

The study indicates that many free, ad-supported applications expend most of their energy on serving the ads, as opposed to on the application itself. As an example, the core part of the free version of Angry Birds on Android uses only 18% of the total app energy. Most of the rest of the energy is used in gathering location, and handset details for upload to the ad server, downloading the ad, and the 3G tail.

This behaviour was similar in other free apps, such as Free Chess, NYTimes which were tested on Android and an energy bug found in Facebook causing the app to drain power even after termination, was confirmed fixed in the next version released (v1.3.1).

The researchers also performed this testing on Windows Mobile 6.5 but in the published paper, only the Android results are discussed.

Inmobi’s Terence Egan pushed back against some of the findings noting that

In one case, the researchers only looked at the first 33 seconds of usage when playing a chess game.

Naturally, at start up, an app will open communications to download an ad. Once the ad has been received, the app shouldn?t poll for another ad for some time.

Hver the time it take to play a game of chess (the computer usually beats me in 10 minutes) a few ad calls are dwarfed by the energy consumption of the screen, the speakers, and the haptic feedback.

Although, in a tacit admission that this is a potential issue further down in his post he lists handy best practices for developers to make “ad calls as battery friendly as possible”

The iPhone iOS operating system wasn’t looked at in this study at all but it is not immune from these issues either. And, in fact, reports are emerging now that the new iPad is unable to charge when certain energy intensive apps are running.

While it is important to remind developers of the need for green coding, not all coders will heed the advice and there will always be rogue apps out there draining your smartphone’s battery.

And this is not just a consumer issue – for enterprises it is important to keep the organisation’s smartphone owners happy, connected, and above all, productive. A drained battery is ultimately a disconnected, unproductive and frustrated employee. Reducing a phone’s energy use is, obviously a sustainability win too.

Mobile endpoint management applications could use technology similar to the eprof software used in the study, to identify bugs or rogue applications on phones. This could be reported back to a central database to alert users (and app developers) of issues found.

With more and more apps coming on the market, this is an issue which is only going to become more pronounced. Someone is going to come out with a decent mobile energy management app sooner, rather than later. It will be interesting to see where it comes from.

Photo Credit Tom Raftery


HP joins ranks of microserver providers with Redstone

Redstone server platform

The machine in the photo above is HP’s newly announced Redstone server development platform.

Capable of fitting 288 servers into a 4U rack enclosure, it packs a lot of punch into a small space. The servers are System on a Chip based on Calxeda ARM processors but according to HP, future versions will include “Intel? Atom?-based processors as well as others”

These are not the kind of servers you deploy to host your blog and a couple of photos. No, these are the kinds of servers deployed by the literal shedload by hosting companies, or cloud companies to get the maximum performance for the minimum energy hit. This has very little to do with these companies developing a sudden green conscience, rather it is the rising energy costs of running server infrastructure that is the primary motivator here.

This announcement is part of a larger move by HP (called Project Moonshot), designed to advance HP’s position in the burgeoning low-energy server marketplace.

Nor is this anything very new or unique to HP. Dell have been producing microservers for over three years now. In June and July of this year (2011) they launched the 3rd generations of their AMD and Intel based PowerEdge microservers respectively.

And it’s not just Dell, Seamicro has been producing Atom-based microservers for several years now. Their latest server, the SM10000-64 contains 384 processors per system in a 10U chassis with a very low energy footprint.

And back in April of this year Facebook announced its Open Compute initiative to open-source the development of vanity free, low cost compute nodes (servers). These are based on Intel and AMD motherboards but don’t be surprised if there is a shift to Atom in Open Compute soon enough.

This move towards the use of more energy efficient server chips, along with the sharing of server resources (storage, networking, management, power and cooling) across potentially thousands of servers is a significant shift away from the traditional server architecture.

It will fundamentally change the cost of deploying and operating large cloud infrastructures. It will also drastically increase the compute resources available online but the one thing it won’t do, as we know from Jevons’ Paradox, is it won’t reduce the amount of energy used in IT. Paradoxically, it may even increase it!

Photo credit HP


Computer storage systems rapidly taking on the energy efficiency challenge

In the video above, Dave Wright, founder and CEO of SolidFire makes the point that what with ARM-based servers, OpenCompute, etc. there has been a lot of breakthroughs on the computing side of servers, to make them more efficient recently, but very little innovation has happened with storage systems. Predictably he’s gone after storage modernisation with his new company SolidFire offering SSD-based enterprise storage solutions.

My laptop

My laptop

One of the biggest advantages of SSD’s, as storage for servers, is it is incredibly fast, so you get an immediate performance win. I first found this when I changed my laptop to one with an SSD, instead of a normal HDD. The drive is far faster, but because the SSD doesn’t generate heat, there is no requirement for a fan. This makes the laptop cooler (no laptop burn), quieter and it has a far longer battery life. Samsung affirmed this in a server situation when I talked to them earlier this year. Because SSD’s don’t require power-hungry fans to cool down the heat created by spinning drives, the reduced power requirement and heat generation is a big win in a data centre environment.

SolidFire are far from being alone in this field. Just last week FlashSoft announced that they had secured $3m in first round funding to develop Flash virtualisation software for enterprises. They have nifty software which runs on servers with hybrid storage (some SSD and some HDD). Their software identifies regularly accessed data (hot data) and caches this in SSD, while moving less frequently accessed data to spinning disks. Having regularly accessed data in a cache on SSD greatly increases the performance of the storage.

The hybrid model is one way of getting over the issue of the cost differential between HDD’s and SSD’s. SolidFire have a different approach – they don’t go for the hybrid model. Instead their all-SSD model uses a combination of data compression, de-duplication and thin client provisioning to reduce the amount of space required for storage.

A performance enhancing tactic regularly employed with HDD’s is to only use a small amount of the available space on the outside of the disk for your storage. The outside of the disk spins fastest giving you faster read/write access. However, this is hugely inefficient as most of the disk remains unused.

SolidFire do away with the need to have any HDD’s at all making your storage far more efficient. While in Flashsoft’s hybrid model, you can do away with the requirement for faster spinning SAS drives and instead go for slower, cheaper SATA drives without taking a performance hit. Both solutions reduce your energy and cooling needs.

Then out of Japan comes news that in response to requirements for energy efficiency there (due to the earthquake earlier this year closing nuclear power plants), Nexsan have come up with new power managed storage systems with in-built MAID capable of supporting any combination of SATA/SAS/SSD drives. Because MAID allows disks to be spun down when not in use, Nexsan are claiming up to 85% savings in energy usage for its systems.

It is true certainly that SSD’s have a shorter lifetime than HDD’s but even this has been given a boost with the recent announcement from IBM that their new Phase Change Memory chips (PCM) will be faster, cheaper and longer lasting than todays SSD’s.

So while Dave, above, feels that there isn’t much innovation happening in the efficiency of storage, I would respectfully differ and say this is very exciting times to be looking into storage energy efficiency!

Photo credit Tom Raftery


Samsung: Solid State Drive’s (SSD’s) are Green

Samsung have an interesting section on their GreenMemory site about Solid State Drives and how they are considerably Greener than traditional HDD’s.

This rings true with me because my own laptop has an SSD instead of a HDD and I find that it out-performs my desktop for some applications, it runs cold (and quiet as it doesn’t need a fan) and the battery life is better than any laptop I have owned to date.

I caught up with them at the recent Sapphire Now conference where they kindly led me through a demo, showing exactly how much better SSD’s perform compared to HDD’s..

Here’s a transcription of the demo:

Tom Raftery: Hi, everyone! Welcome to GreenMonk TV. I?m at the Sapphire Now conference in Orlando and I?m with Steven Peng from Samsung. Steven is demoing a new way of looking at SSD?s, solid-state disks and some interesting metrics around the solid-state drives. Steven can you tell me why you are telling me that solid-state drives are Green?

Steven Peng: Yes, solid-state drive doesn?t have a moving part by nature, you can save more power of a traditional hard disk drive and you can say that?s the reason that it is Green.

Tom Raftery: Okay. So you have numbers here, you can talk to around that both in terms of cost and in terms of throughput. Can you talk us through some of those?

Steven Peng: Of course, welcome to our Green SSD versus HDD demo. And a lot of people state the SSD you get cost, it?s too high compared to current technology hard disk drive. However, if you look at a system cost, it actually is the cheapest cost in delivering the performance needed in systems.

So, I have a demo here, I have two identical systems, server systems. If you look at the CPU, the memory configuration, they are identical. However, if you look at the Green SSD system, I have four Samsung MLC SSD drive at 200 gigabytes each, so total capacity is 800 gigabyte. And I can also put two or three 7200 RPM HDD.

So the total capacity is a really comparable to the HDD system here. In this system, I have a 12 high speed 15K SAS HDD, a 300 gigabyte drive capacity each.

So, if you look at two systems, the cost of four SSD drive and 12, 30 gigabyte 15K hard disk drive, the cost is about the same. So, the system costs are same.

Tom Raftery: It is compatible, okay.

Steven Peng: Yeah. So, the interesting area of what about the performance that really tells the system cost difference, right. So the demo here is, we are also running the Benchmarking software, TPC-C and online transaction processing benchmark software and that?s software allows us to know what?s the difference in terms of performance.

If you look at the number here, we recorded in the Green SSD server system, we have 7,000 transaction per second level. If you look at the hard disk drive HDD server system, we only recorded like 1,900 transaction per second level. So, immediately it is about 3X delta.

Tom Raftery: So, it?s significantly faster in terms of performance, but also the amount of watts that are being consumed are considerably lower as well?

Steven Peng: Exactly. So the wattage of a Green SSD system consumption is about 170 watts. If you look at the HDD system, it?s 280 watts. So, you see the delta right there, 60 percent range in power saving per system.

Tom Raftery: And that power saving is coming from a couple of things, I assume, you can tell me if I?m wrong, my assumption would be that a) There is no moving parts as you said earlier but also, b) There is no heat being generated or less heat being generated by the SSD than the hard drive, would that be right?

Steven Peng: Yeah, indeed. Since SSD, the system you generate less heat you don?t need the fan to spin faster and also you can imagine in the data center, you can spend less cooling cost.

Tom Raftery: Cool, so faster performance, compatible pricing and lower operating cost in terms of power usage.

Steven Peng: Right. So, we suggest to people when you are doing your next IT refresh server system, look into SSD system and that can give you the lowest initial purchasing cost and also the ongoing operating cost saving from the power you know saving payout.

Tom Raftery: Steven, that?s been great. Thanks a million.

Steven Peng: Alright, thank you Tom.

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Is Cloud Computing Green yet?


Back in 2008 I wrote a post asking how Green is Cloud Computing?

Back then I didn’t really have an answer to the question. I mean logic would lead you to think that Cloud Computing leads to more efficiently run computers, so therefore it HAS to be Green, right? However, at the time, none of the Cloud providers were publishing their energy utilisation numbers, so no conclusions based on solid data could be drawn.

Fast forward from 2008 to now. How many Cloud providers are now publishing their energy utilisation info? Oh that’s right, none of them are.

There is a move by some Amazon shareholders calling on the company to prepare a report that will assess the impact of climate change on Amazon and make it public – but there is no guarantee that even if Amazon vote to do this, that they will include detailed energy consumption data.

One thing which might force this issue is a requirement for organisations to report emissions data – until that happens though, if the last three years is anything to go by, it doesn’t look like Cloud providers will be publishing their efficiency data any time soon.

What we need to see from Cloud providers is data in the form of watts/compute cycle so we can cross-compare their efficiency, and compare it to alternative infrastructures. This is something they have been singularly reluctant to report on to-date. One has to wonder why. Could it be that, in fact, Cloud Computing is hugely inefficient?

And even if Cloud Computing is shown to be more efficient, as Simon Wardley is fond of pointing out, Jevon’s Paradox, may mean that we end up using much more of a more efficient resource, paradoxically increasing energy consumption, which is definitely NOT Green.

So what do you think? Is Cloud Computing Green Yet? And if not, will it ever be?

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Photo credit supertin


Engaging people in the energy conversation

Green Numbers

I went along to the MashupEvent Energy 2.0 – Energy goes Digital get together in London last Thursday.

It was a good event with some interesting speakers, including Usman Haque of pachube, Ajit Jaokar from FutureText and Paul Tanner (self-confessed energy nut!).

The talks were good – for me, one of the more interesting learnings was how pachube is being used to crowd-source rediation readings from hacked Geiger counters in Japan! Seriously awesome stuff, and a real case of people using the pachube platform for purposes never dreamed of when it was first created, I suspect.

When the floor was opened for questions and discussion, some interesting topics were raised. When the question was asked from the podium, one brave member of the audience confessed to being from a utility (British Gas) and she went on to raise an interesting point – she said it was hard to motivate people to to make any changes. British Gas, she said, have offered people free insulation, which would potentially save them hundreds of pounds, and they don’t take up the offer.

This is not the first time I have heard these kinds of stories. Why is that?

Toyota Prius dashboard driving info

Toyota Prius dashboard driving info

There are a few reasons for this, as far as I can see:

  1. When you are getting electricity bills like the one above, you have no idea what your actual consumption is like day-to day, minute-to-minute. I bought a Toyota Prius a number of years ago and it totally changed the way I drive because of how well the consumption information is fed back to me on the dashboard – the same is not true for the Honda Insight, as I discovered when Honda lent me one to trial, so not alone is it important to give people information on their consumption, it is also vital to present it in an easily digestible way.
  2. People don’t trust their utility companies – traditionally utility companies only communicate with their customers (who they often refer to as ratepayers!) when they are sending a bill or when a bill is overdue. This form of communication is not particularly conducive to establishing a good relationship. The basis for any good relationship and thereby trust is communication. Utility companies need to radically step up their customer communications, but not in a way that is spammy. They need to engage with their customers on all channels (if my preferred method of communication is Twitter, I want them to engage with me there, if my Dad’s preference is phone – talking to a person, not an IVR, then that’s where they need to talk to him). This is going to be a hard lesson for many utilities to learn but they fail to learn it at their own peril and
  3. Energy is too cheap! Possibly fixing 1 and 2 will persuade people to become more energy efficient, but I suspect, the real driver for energy efficiency will only come along when energy becomes more expensive. Only when the cost of energy really starts too impact on people’s lives, will they start to pay attention. Luckily, that’s the direction energy prices have been going for some time now!

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Photo credit Tom Raftery


RF Code and their wireless environmental sensors coming to Europe

RF Code PDU Tag

To go along with the data center energy efficiency posts I have been writing in the last few weeks, I talked to RF Code earlier this week to find out what they have been up to recently. RF Code make wireless sensing devices which are proving quite popular lately in data centers.

I was speaking to Chad Riseling, RF Code’s VP of Worldwide Sales and he told me that a large portion of their 2010 growth came from their wireless environmental monitoring solutions. RF Code has wireless tags to monitor humidity, temperature, leak detection, PDU and CDU power usage (for certain vendors, as yet), (rack) door status and dry contact status.

The wireless sensors which RF Code sell, are roughly the size of a box of matches, they run off a battery which is rated to last around three years (and which starts alerting you about low battery status three months before the battery is depleted) and they have a range of mountings, including a peel and stick option, to facilitate easy deployment almost anywhere in a data center.

If you are wondering why a wireless solution is such a big deal, well think about the wireless internet network in your own home and how that has changed how you browse the net. Now you can access it anywhere in your home. Similarly, wireless sensors in a data center don’t need any extra cables to be rolled out for deployment and so can be installed quickly and relatively ubiquitously.

According to Chad, in a small 3,000 square foot data center, you could have up to 10,000 sensors being read by 3-4 readers and the data is handed off to the software stack, called Sensor Manager. Sensor manager can be used to track the data, or if companies have already invested in BMS or service management software, the data can be integrated with that.

One nice touch that RF Code have is that, in an homage to the Puppy Dog sales technique, they sell Starter Packs which contain sensors, readers and management software (enough to get you going, in other words) for as little as $2,995. If you are happy with the starter pack, you can simply buy more tags, readers, etc. to build out your solution.

Yesterday RF Code announced that they are launching a European Channel Program to grow beyond their current, predominantly US-based, market. Cool.

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Photo copyright RF Code


SAP’s new NetWeaver 7.3 has a nice energy efficiency story

Green Code

If, like me, you have been using technology for a while now, you will be used to the constant release-by-release bloating of software. The first time I installed Excel it was version 2.2 and at the time it fit comfortable on a 1.4mb 3.5″ floppy disk – remember floppy disks?

In a pleasant bucking of that trend, SAP’s Holger Faulhaber told me in a recent call, that the latest version of their NetWeaver platform (v. 7.3) is a much leaner beast! While it is unlikely to fit on a floppy disk, it does have some significant performance wins, along with the simplified architecture and the functionality improvements you’d expect from an upgrade.

One of the main reasons for the improvements are SAP’s dropping of its two-stack approach in favour of a single Java stack for NetWeaver 7.3. This significantly reduces the amount of hardware which needs to be deployed and also because messages only need to be stored once, compared to 3-7 times previously, you get even more energy savings.

To demonstrate this, SAP carried out testing of their new NetWeaver Platform using the SAP Application Performance Standard (SAPS).

SAP defined a medium-sized landscape as being 37,500 SAPS for a NetWeaver Process Integration (PI) customer. Based on that they found that the savings potential for PI is in the region of:
– 60% less energy consumption or around 18,000 kWh/yr
– 16 tons of CO2 savings per landscape/year and
– ?6.5k saving potential per landscape/year

The numbers for NetWeaver Portal 7.3 are for an SAP defined medium sized landscape of 30,000 SAPS. In that case, you see a savings potential of:
– 30% less energy consumption, 13,000 kWh/yr
– 6.5 tons od CO2 savings per landscape/yr and
– ?2.6k saving potential/yr

While for NetWeaver Business Process Management 7.3 the potential savings for a 30,000 SAPS medium sized customer are:
– 57% less energy consumption, 24,000kWh/yr
– 12 tons of CO2 savings per landscape/yr and
– ?6k saving potential per landscape/yr

The new software was tested on identical hardware to the previous version to rule out any efficiency gains from improved hardware according to Holger. He went on to mention that SAPs Quick Sizer [PDF] tool to help customers design their SAP landscape – has been updated for 7.3 so you don’t overspec your SAP installation.

“One of the main learning for SAP from this exercise is that I/O is expensive. For current tasks, it is nearly 3 times more expensive than utilising the CPU”, according to Holger. “Because of this we are now telling developers not write to locks, don’t write to the db – dropping locks increases performance” he continued. It will be interesting to see if SAP can move developers towards writing more energy efficient code.

This is a big potential win for SAP customers. Now they can gain significant performance and energy gains with a simple software upgrade, as opposed to having to buy any new hardware.It’d be great to see more companies adopting this type of approach to software development.

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Photo credit Marjan Krebelj