Energy Efficient Ethernet hits standards milestone

From the ‘standards don’t happen overnight’ files:

I’ve been writing about Energy Efficient Ethernet for over a year now, as the effort to make Ethernet more green, winds its way through the standards bodies.

This week the effort hit a standards milestone with the approval of a draft of the IEEE P802.3az Energy-Efficient Ethernet standard. Now the draft gets forwarded onward to become an IEEE working group ballot.  The final standard according to backers is on track for a September 2010 final approval.

The goal of Energy Efficient Ethernet is to reduce Ethernet power consumption by 50 percent or more – which isn’t a trivial thing to do.

“This is the first project in the history of Ethernet aimed specifically at reducing energy use,” says Michael Bennett, Senior Network Engineer, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Chair, IEEE P802.3az, Energy Efficient Ethernet Task Force in a statement. “IT managers are faced with ongoing pressures to balance energy use and reduce energy costs. Reaching this milestone is an important step towards providing network designers with additional tools to reduce energy consumption.”

So what is it all about? How can Ethernet power consumption be reduced?

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