Academy & Industry Research Collaboration Center (AIRCC)

Volume 11, Number 18, November 2021

GPF: A Green Power Forwarding Technique for Energy-Efficient Network Operations


Rahil Gandotra and Levi Perigo, University of Colorado Boulder, USA


The energy consumption of network infrastructures is increasing; therefore, research efforts designed to diminish this growing carbon footprint are necessary. Building on prior work, which determined a difference in the energy consumption of network hardware based on their forwarding configurations and developed a real-time network energy monitoring tool, this research proposes a novel technique to incorporate individual device energy efficiency into network routing decisions. A new routing metric and algorithm are presented to select the lowest-power, least-congested paths between destinations, known as Green Power Forwarding (GPF). In addition, a network dial is developed to enhance GPF by allowing network administrators to tune the network to optimally operate between energy savings and network performance. To ensure the scope of this research for industry adoption, implementation details for different generations of networking infrastructure (past, present, and future) are also discussed. The experiment results indicate that significant energy and, in turn, cost savings can be achieved by employing the proposed GPF technique without a reduction in network performance. The future directions for this research include developing dynamically-tuning network dial modes and extending the principles to inter-domain routing.


Energy efficiency, intent-based networking, network optimization dial, SDN, programmable control plane, OpenFlow, programmable data plane, P4.