Abstract

With the rapid and growing volume of green house gas (GHG) we may soon cross a tipping point where there may be dramatic climatic catastrophes such that governments will be forced to order the shutdown of coal powered electrical production or mandate carbon neutrality across all sectors of society. On the other hand, in the event of such a development, the future Internet and Grid infrastructure may become absolutely essential for communications and a replacement for travel and for the delivery of critical services such as health, education, research, etc. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) produce 2%–3% of the world's GHG emissions through the consumption of electricity largely produced by coal plants. This rate of GHG is expected to double in the next few years and is clearly unsustainable. Therefore it is critical that any future Internet and Grid infrastructure be designed not only to survive, but also be sustained, through an age where no additional GHG emissions will be allowed. Converged optical networks, Grid and cloud services hosted at zero carbon renewable energy sites using Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) where each network and computer element is represented to a user as a configurable virtual service will allow for the deployment of what are often referred to as “follow the sun or follow the wind” optical network and Grid architectures where the network and Grid topology and Grid resources availability and location are constantly changing depending on local availability states of the wind or sun.

© 2009 IEEE

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