What is Green Computing?
Green Computing refers to environmentally sustainable computing. San Murugesan defines the field of green computing as “the study and practice of designing, manufacturing, using, and disposing of computers, servers, and associated subsystems—such as monitors, printers, storage devices, and networking and communications systems—efficiently and effectively with minimal or no impact on the environment.”
Bits, Bytes, and CO2!
The green computing is not limited to the hardware; it also encompasses the software and the data. Whenever the data is processed, it takes computer resources; the more data we process, the more carbon dioxide (CO2) we add to the environment. The electricity consumed by cloud computing globally will increase up to 1,963 billion kWh by 2020 and the associated carbon dioxide equivalent emissions would reach 1,034 megatons.
Write Efficient Software
One way to reduce the CO2 emissions is to use energy-efficient hardware. IT industry can also contribute to the green computing by increasing the use of renewable energy. In addition to that, efficient software, which can process the same amount of data with fewer lines of code, in an effective way, avoiding redundancy to save CPU power can also greatly contribute in this area.
Role of Open File Formats
The role of open file formats is no less in contributing to green computing. According to Wikipedia, an open file format is a published specification for storing digital data, usually maintained by a standard organization, which can therefore be used and implemented by anyone.
The proprietary file formats or standards can work for particular platforms with certain software, while open file formats can work on any platform with a variety of tools and software for various purposes. The closed or proprietary formats are more likely to become obsolete sooner or later and leaving behind a pile of digital footprint as ‘digital waste’. This digital waste is going to contribute in the carbon dioxide emissions for no reason. While there are less chances of all this happening with the open file formats.
Our Social Responsibility
The IT industry should focus on the efficient hardware and software, use of renewable energy, and open file formats to contribute to the green computing in the best interest of the generations to come.