Green networks

I had a sense of deja vu this morning, listening to Victor Reijs presentation on “green IT” at the TERENA Technical Advisory Council meeting in Vilnius. It was an excellent presentation, making a strong case that the European R&E networks need a forum for focused collaboration, sharing, and new initiatives in sustainability and green IT.

Two years ago – at the TERENA Networking Conference in Bruges – I gave a brief presentation on Green IT and its relevance to the research & education networking community. I suggested then that this is a topic that warrant far more attention from the community, a topic with interesting and important work to be done – and a topic where we in Europe need to do much more to match the excellent work done in North America.

Since then, sustainability has been included in the GN3 project, as a study in Environmental Impact of research network. There is fine and important work being done in this task; the CHG study in a major contribution. In addition, a number of European R&E Networks have made contributions, notably a CHG study in Netherlands by SURFnet and HEAnet joining the GreenStar Network project. However, much remains to be done, and compared to the North America we’re still not doing much.

Victor presented well today on the achievements in the past two years. He also made a strong case for doing more, and doing it together. More than anything, I think the presentation made it clear that we have succeeded in creating a European R&E community, albeit a fledgling one. We have something to build on that allows us to formulate more expansive goals, and to do something concrete and involving together. I think the time for a TERENA taskforce is ripe, if not overdue.

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