Nowadays, it is widely recognised that the sole introduction of low consumption silicon elements may not be sufficient to effectively
curb tomorrow’s network energy requirements.
Based on this assumption, the ECONET project will investigate, develop and test new
capabilities for the Future Internet devices that can enable the efficient management of power consumption so to strongly reduce
the current network energy waste.
The ECONET project will therefore be devoted at re-thinking and re-designing wired network equipment and infrastructures towards more
energy-sustainable and eco-friendly technologies and perspectives. The overall idea is to introduce novel green network-specific
paradigms and concepts enabling the reduction of energy requirements of wired network equipment by 50% in the short
to mid-term (and by 80% in the long run) with respect to the business-as-usual scenario.
To this end, the main challenge will be to design, develop and test novel technologies, integrated control criteria and mechanisms
for network equipment enabling energy saving by dynamically adapting network capacities and resources to current traffic loads
and user requirements, while ensuring end-to-end Quality of Service.
The ECONET project will address such challenge, by focusing its research and development efforts along three main research axes, namely (Fig 1:):
In the first axis, novel network-specific capabilities will be investigated and developed to optimise the power management features
(e.g. standby and power scaling primitives). Research activities will cover several HW/FW (and related) technologies and network device
typologies (e.g. home-gateway, DSLAM, switches, routers) in order to explore specific energy-saving solutions and techniques with
respect to legacy and future HW and network requirements.
The second research axis will investigate the design and development of local and distributed frameworks for energy-efficient flexible
and cognitive network OAM, with the aim to enable dynamic, scalable, ad-hoc optimized resource allocation in terms of trade-off between
energy consumption and network performance, as well as differentiated performance, fault-tolerance and robustness levels.
The third axis, the Green Abstraction Layer will focus on the development of a standard and general purpose interface for exposing and
controlling the novel green capabilities and functionalities, realized with different typologies of network equipment and of HW
technologies, towards “general purpose” OAM frameworks. This research axis will be the key for the integration and the development of
energy-aware device prototype platforms, including both data-plane green capabilities and control strategies, for project dissemination,
demonstration and proof-of-concept activities. Moreover, it will lead to the definition of novel device internal standards for managing
and monitoring energy and performance profiles.
The ECONET project will ultimately deliver a significant number of novel energy-aware device prototypes (representing all the different
aggregation and logical levels of a real large-scale network), on which large-scale experimental simulations and tests will be conducted.
With a significant dissemination effort, the project will aim at maximising the impact of project results on industrial and network
operator communities as well as on standardization bodies, thus bridging the gap between long term research and industrial deployment.