Thursday, January 31, 2008

Linux and Green Computing

The impact of ICT on the environment has very quickly become an issue, with such blogs as Bill St. Arnaud's Green IT/Broadband and Cyber-Infrastructure examining some of the issues.

Linux has long been touted (Linux-Ecology-HOWTO) as greener operating system, mostly through its ability to run on older hardware or smaller hardware giving the same performance as other OSes. These combine in extending the useful lifespan of hardware, reducing the amount of ICT-based garbage.

But Linux's power management for hardware is relatively poor, as compared to the Microsoft or Apple OS offerings. To remedy this, the Green Linux Workgroup was created in August 2007 to consolidate the efforts to improve Linux power management. At the same time, IBM anounced the "Big Green Linux" Initiative which includes the consolidation of servers. Their initial consolidation efforts include moving 3900 of their own servers to 30 System z mainframes running Linux. And the IBM's Linux Technology Center was involved in the energy-saving tickless Linux kernel released in April 2007.

These efforts are not lost on Linus: today he acknowledged (Torvalds: Linux ready to go green) the need for improving Linux Power management.

Bill St. Arnaud's post Upcoming Conferences and Studies on ICT and Global Warming lists a number of upcoming conferences on ICT environment issues, and I hope there will be some Linux representation extolling the benefits of Linux (where appropriate of course).

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