With current geo-political situations that cause high energy prices, electricity rates are now near record highs. There are 3 major clusters of equipment that make up a computing infrastructure: the network, the compute, and the storage. Each of these clusters of equipment consume vast amounts of power, and generate a correspondingly large amounts of heat.
In this series of Green Computing, we look at network switches, and how we can achieve our objective of green computing, and our march towards carbon neutrality.
Ethernet is ubiquitous, and has been around for many decades. It evolved from 10Mbps to 400Gps today, a jump of 40,000 times in capacity over 5 decades. The technology progression over the last decade was especially furious, fed by the unrelentless demand for bandwidth. The major advantage of Ethernet being an industrial standard is that any equipment that complies to the Ethernet standard can be connected together, with guarantees of compatibility. Faster Ethernet speed is backwards compatible to the earlier generation, making upgrades easy. The wide industry support of Ethernet also makes Ethernet cheap, thus its popularity.
Each faster Ethernet standard deliver the following benefits, eg comparing 100G with 400G :
100G switch – 32x 100G ports, 3.2Tbps forwarding @ 197W without transceivers, consuming about 6W per 100G
400G switch – 32x 400G ports, 12.8Tbps forwarding @ 386W without transceivers, consuming about 3W per 100G
100G switch – total 674BTU/hr, 21BTU/hr per 100G
400G switch – total 1320BTU/hr, 10BTU/hr per 100G
More potential savings can be achieved over the life-time, if low-power transceivers, as discussed in our earlier newsletter, are used.
It is evident from above that high-density switches should be considered whenever a network upgrade is planned, or a new network is built. The total cost savings, over the lifetime of the infrastructure is extremely attractive, given it’s efficiency of power and heat.
It is extremely important to design a balanced system comprising of a very fast network, complemented with equally fast compute and storage nodes. Otherwise, the benefits of a very fast network cannot be realized, if slowed down by the other clusters of equipment.
In our next newsletter, we will discuss about high-performance compute and storage, so that we can fully realize the potential of a Green Computing infrastructure, while achieving our objectives towards a carbon neutral environment.
 Comparing Edgecore AS7726-32X (100G) with AS9726-32DB (400G)
 The total power consumed per switch is dependent on the number and type of transceivers installed. The operating temperature under optimum condition is 25°C
 Calculated without transceivers, under optimum operating temperature of 25°C. Total BTU = Watts x 3.4192