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Definition of Green IT

Green IT is the study of using Information technology components like computers and their associated peripheral devices and their designing, manufacturing, operation and disposing principles effectively using various Green computing techniques. This term was coined by the US government in 1992 [7] when they were researching for methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from various products in order to achieve higher energy efficiency there by achieving sustainable development. Since the field of ICT is growing at a rapid rate, various ICT technologies are also growing in tandem.

Role of Government agencies:

The International Telecom Union (ITU) based in Geneva Switzerland, has put forward various policies in the form of Green ICT standards [1]. They are numerous study groups in ITU which are working for this collective goal of developing efficient practices for overall IT infrastructure. One such group is Study group 5 (SG5) [2] which focusses on environment and climate change.

Role of Multinational companies in Green IT:

IBM Company [3] is building innovative solutions in the areas of smart buildings, smart data centers also known as Green data centers which all ultimately leads to a common goal of making existing products and processes more efficient for both the environment and for their businesses. CISCO [4] is working towards its long term strategic opportunity of “Green” business value by building what is called as Cisco energy efficient data centers. All these companies are also a part of the corporate social responsibility initiative where best practices for Green IT are evaluated.

Role of academic Institutions:

Most of the universities in Finland are involved in research which is associated with Green IT. Students of LUT University in particular are working in the areas of curbing climate change and ensuring the continuous availability of clean water and energy. Researchers and Students of Aalto University organize Green hackathon to promote the principles of Green IT and innovate new creative solutions. Green

References

[1] http://www.itu.int/net/ITU-T/lists/standards.aspx?Group=5&Domain=28

[2] http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/studygroups/2013-2016/05/Pages/default.aspx

[3] http://www.ibm.com/ibm/green/index.html

[4] http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/data-center-virtualization/networking_solutions_products_genericcontent0900aecd806e26e3.html

[5] http://www.lut.fi/web/en/green-campus/green-research

[6] http://www.greenhackathon.com/

[7] http://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/green-IT-green-information-technology

Various terminologies in Green IT

There are quite many terms coined by various stakeholders. some of them are Green IT, Green Computing, Green ICT, Green Technologies and ICT sustainability. However it is not be to confused that every single term is closely related to other. The vision of Green IT is to see a future connected world, where the best practices of ICT sector are employed in its operation. In general to satisy this broad vision, every term can be used interchangebly.

Factors that effect the Green IT

1) Futuristic vision of Internet of Things and Industrial Internet.

2) Wide spread usage of ICT in all the industries.

3) Energy costs are accumulating becasue of wide spread usage of technologies.

How to increase sustainability aspects in LUT CS/SWE programs?

In my personal opinion LUT must organise a prctical hands on course on similar lines with Aalto universities Green Hackathon. I believe that most of us do know about the sustainability aspects, but never care much to implement any idea. So this course must give us an option of dirting our hands by involving ourselves in a project work. This project work can either be:

1) A companies real time project

2) A students know initiative project

3) A collaboration of Student and Comapnies idea

By involving all the above stakeholders university also plays a vital role in bringing a very close company-university relations. This also gives a chance for all the students to get a deeper glimpse of industry and their working culture. This course can also invite company students or external people who would like to share their ideas and thoughts. Keeping this course theoritical would be a big disappointment since it doesnt lead to an actionable result. And as IBM has already quoated that “Sustainable is no longer an option. Sustainable is imperative”

Review of the Presentations

Review of pages 1-35

Chapter 1 of this book briefly describes about various impacts of computer and its peripherals on the environment and broadly mentions various solutions for a greener IT. It describes quite many challenges and one of them being the extensive use of toxins in today’s computers. Lead, arsenic, poly brominated flame retardants, selenium, cadmium chromium, mercury Plastics and Poly Vinyl Chloride are some of the most toxic substances which are found in various computers. Surprisingly it is found that (in Fig 1.2) companies like Apple Dell and HP have the highest amount of traces of some of the above mentioned chemicals in their products. This leads to a severe environmental effect and negative health for the individual using such products. After analyzing, the onus is on the individual responsible for purchasing such kind of IT infrastructure. The authors opine that rather than basing their purchasing options on very obvious parameters like cost, affordability and ease of use, consumers have to give a thought in also understanding what the product offers to environment during its entire life cycle process. Basing purchasing options on this factor will definitely lead the manufacturers in choosing environmental friendly materials. This chapter also throws some light on power consumption and problems related to cooling while using the computers. The authors argue that based on individuals or corporate profile companies/individuals must base their orders to computers manufacturers. This would ultimately leads to a scenario where an individual who is not interested in playing games uses a computer which has no or lesser graphic card capacity. This means it leads to lesser power consumption as described by the authors. Those willing to have higher services will obviously look for a better configuration which also means they have to pay higher electricity price. A compromise here is to be established. An example of the client server architecture and its power consumption is described in this book to give a detailed explanation. Furthermore the authors go on and add that disposing old computers and peripherals has to be strictly followed. Typically consumers throw away the components in the normal waste. This should be strictly prohibited. This must be returned back to the producer, which is known as extended producer responsibility. Also in case of improper functioning of any of the peripherals, these have to be replaced immediately. Corporate companies have to render energy efficient techniques starting from design stage to manufacturing stage.

Review of pages 36-56

In this chapter various methodologies, designs, frameworks, and software development tools used in computer science are briefly described. This leads to reduction in energy consumption and also leads to energy efficiency are analyzed thoroughly. This starts from the basic C code. The C code has to be written which communicates with the kernel in the system level before it is compiled. A thorough check of the syntax is performed. The onus is on the programmer to write an efficient code for the program. The programmer has to focus on the efficiency of the code based on the system architecture and the memory constraints. Based on the memory requirements, the instruction cycles are deducted and then appropriate linking dependencies are achieved. The RAM/ROM details are to be thoroughly understood. While accessing the software the process of profiling must be employed. It is a way to achieve the software efficiency by reducing the number of cycles and calling a particular function. Non invasive and invasive techniques were briefly described in this process. Before a code is compiled and it turns itself into a object code after compiling one of the invasive techniques have to rendered to achieve neutrality. This would lead to an efficient code which not only requires less memory space but also improves the overall stability of the system.

Review of pages 57-67

In Chapter 3 computer aided sustainable design is explained to a larger extent. The authors put forward various simulation tools which can be used to design their virtual products. Simulation tools include ProE, CATIA, Solid Edge etc to name a few. These are called computer aided design tools. These tools are combination of hardware and software systems which helps an engineer to produce virtual models with exact precision's. These models can be used as an initial blueprint in the automotive, shipbuilding and aerospace industries. The authors have also provided some designs from all the industries as example models. By employing such tools, the authors believe that a strategic approach for concurrent engineering would be achieved. This enables engineers to virtually build their models sitting at the comfort of their houses and virtually communicating with their counter parts in other countries or geographical places. The ultimate goal of this process is to achieve sustainable design. The authors opine that developing sustainable life cycle process is of greater importance than developing products themselves. In this Endeavor the benefits of concurrent engineering include reduction of production costs, a greater product quality life cycle, reduction in travel costs for engineers; there by reducing green house gas emissions, overall reductions in project costs and project times; which increases visibility of the companies and thereby increases the confidence of the companies. Once appropriate CAD models are developed, this can be forwarded to Computer aided manufacturing which would produce the models physically and if needed to computer controlled numerical machines, which help in building the ultimate product themselves. This reduces paper work and increases and increases automation and brings on transparency.

Review of pages 68-79

The authors discuss about the eco friendly design and the use of various materials in this part of the book. They believe that life cycle process have to be though rather than the end products themselves. In their honest opinion they believe that at most important must be given to life cycle. Designers must predict the environmental impacts of the materials used and notify their manufacturers at the earliest stages. This would benefit all the stake holders involved in the process. The authors talk about economic, social and ecological impacts of a product combined. But however there are ceryain challenges faced by the industries. Some of them are not enough environmental experts in the team and engineers often don’t care about the process but the ultimate product at the consumer. The industry or company also has to put up lot of resources on this topic and hence shun away from this aspect. The authors also talk about Reducing, Recyclability and Reusing concepts of the materials. All the problems need not require a solution; there are cases when just services are sufficient enough to replace products as substitutes. Engineers have to identify this aspect and make a conscious effect to fulfill this criterion. The authors also discuss about various available materials like wood and their energy consumption in USA just to give the readers some understanding of the process. At the end of the chapter a brief description of standalone architecture is briefly explained. This architecture reduces the link dependencies to a larger extent.

Review of pages 79-94

Eco friendly product life cycle is described in this part of the text. The products produced in this global world travel quite a long distance. In this journey they get encountered by numerous obstacles. Of course a very high amount of fuel is used by their respective carriers. This brings on lot of load on the fuel consumption. Authors here discuss about the different phases of the life cycle. They are:-

1) extraction of raw materials

2) manufacturing process

3) packaging and transport

4) The usage and end of life

Extraction of raw materials: Here utmost priority must be adhered while choosing the raw materials. They have to be chosen based on the criterion of material quality, reusability, by product generated and the use of the material back in the form of recycling. Also transparency must be present while in defining where the raw materials come from.

Manufacturing process: Here the focus of the process must be optimized. This enables use of water and other solvents for cooling purposes in the manufacturing process. So judicial usage of these resources is maintained.

Packaging and Transport: Global warming and efficient use of the fuels is of prime importance here. This also reduces the cost of travel and also increases productivity of the process. Routes and packaging have to be based on a dynamic approach rather than taking a safer approach which usually costs lower but have greater environmental effect.

The use and the end of life: Onus is on the consumer to not overload and stress the product but to use it in an efficient way as described by the manufacturer. In a similar way the end of the product must be done using dignity. Focus must be on the efficient recyclability of the product. The consumer must not hamper this life cycle process so he must be educated about this issue.

Review of Day 1 presentations

Chapter 1 in this text book deals with Roles and Opportunities for Information Technology in Meeting Sustainability Challenges. The authors deal with the definition of Sustainability as described by the United Nations. A broad definition of Green IT is also presented; the greening of IT, through efforts such as reducing data-center energy consumption and electronic waste. The authors believe that Information technology can serve as a bridge between technical and social solutions by enabling improved communication transparency for fostering the necessary economic, political and cultural adjustments. They point out various Challenges for the Modern Electric Grid which include increased electricity consumption and corresponding growth of the grid;

They mention out various challenges and solutions to tackle out population and its impact. They feel that the main cause is increasing demand of Environmental Impacts. They also feel the Public Health Impacts the Air and water pollution. Overall there do understand that there is a need to take a systems view of agriculture (much like taking a systems view in other areas of sustainability, such as the smart grid, described previously) in order to understand and analyze the total impact of agriculture on the environment, economy, and society.

They also opine that Precision Agriculture and the use of information and computing technology in agriculture has greatly increased in the past 50 years. Various approaches have been employed one of them being the Social Networks for Local Food Sourcing. They strongly believe on the fact that IT could be used to increase networking among individuals and organizations.

Review of chapter 2

Chapter 2 in this text book deals and proposes certain wide spread efforts in the areas of measurement and instrumentation , human centric systems and the modelling involved in simulating various processes. They have pointed out different objectives in the fields of smart electric systems, food systems and resilient infrastructures. They opine that there is a need for cross system integration which helps in achieving better embedded computing. This would lead to better operational processes which means it leads to overall sustainability. S special focus on the data challenges is also made. It throws some light on the different types of data and the impact it mays in the form of load. Infrastructure development has to be primarily considered, where a thorough analysis on simulation and modelling is made. As far as human centric systems are concerned, a prime emphasis is made on individual sustainability based on the factors of resource selection on used resources.

Review of Chapter 3

Chapter 3 deals about the programmatic approach in universities and for individuals in achieving overall sustainable development. As the world is heading towards a knowledge society there is wide spread optimism on the field of Computer science. However this field alone cannot lead us to that goal. An overall approach is needed. This part of the text however focusses on the role of CS. Certain aspects of sustainability can be achieved through design thinking, social media and adaptive systems. Various examples surrounding this area have been defined in this chapter. In the university a special focus should be made on cross functional learning. Higher education must allow funding’s to extensive research programs which aim at sustainability. In achieving this endeavor creative problem solving techniques have to be employed.

Critical Thinking and Argumentation

There are quite many materials available on the internet which helps us in the discussion part. I am listing some of them here. I was particularly interested towards critical thinking topics based on the individuals or the students themselves. Every student has to undergo various argumentation during his study period. Here his own skills will be tested rather than his knowledge on the subject topic. And there quite many factors that helps him in deducing these critical understanding. Some of them are his (the students) cultural influence, educational background, background and quite many other complex factors. So being students of a multinational university with cross functional domains I would like to focus on creating a platform. A platform which enables every student in LUT in deducing a common critical thinking in solving the complex wicked problems. Often the concept of sustainability can be better dealt if its considered as a complex problem. Argumentation must not be taken as a way of outlining others and proving your point. However it must be a rather focused approach. For example while being a part of this group discussion we must be in a positon to answer [1]

  1. Evaluate how far the evidence or examples used in materials really proves the point that the author claims.
  2. To weigh up opinions, arguments or solutions against appropriate criteria.
  3. To think a line of reasoning through to its logical conclusion.
  4. Check for hidden bias or hidden assumptions.
  5. Check whether the evidence and argument really support the conclusions.

The students must in a position to understand identify the available arguments, hidden assumptions and evidences to a larger extent. To learn these skills I believe basic logical reasoning has to be learnt in their basic degree. A very good reference is mentioned in [2]. After gaining some insight into logical reasoning the though process itself gets modified to a larger extent.

References

[1] http://www.palgrave.com/studentstudyskills/page/critical-and-analytical-thinking-skills/

[2] http://www.aui.ma/personal/~A.Cads/1201/Mod2/M2-links/L-6-Critical%20Thinking%20and%20Argumentation.htm

[3] http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/reasoning-analogy/ In this 3rd reference relation between philospsohy and critical logical thinking is briefly mentioned.

Exam questions

1) What do you mean by Individual sustainability?

Accessing one’s own physical, emotional, social, philosophical, environmental, and intellectual life which ultimately leads to overall self-development is known as individual sustainability.

I am choosing this question because i strongly believe that for overall worldly development everything has to start from the individual himself. so theres a need to understand this aspect as well.

2) Who are main stakeholders in acheiving sustainablity?

There are quite many stake holders. First of all it is to be understood that the individual forms a core for this spacet. On top of it, the multinational companies, the governmental agencies and the universities also form a part of this eco system. A thorough thought process has to be achieved in order to develop a a greater sustainable development.

I chose this question because, everyone has to understand about the responsible person.

3) What is the impact of IT on the topic of Sustainability?

IT has a huge impact starting from the design stage to the very end. Special focus has be developed in designing and manufacturing these systems. A special care on the materials to be chosen and their harmful properties has to be understood. People have to be abreast about the latest developments in their own IT products and keep them well up to date.

I chose this question since i am CS student and CS students we must understand the importance of our own subject

4) As an individual what aspects have to be taken care for acheiving sustainability?

Energy efficiency, Power consumption, Exact configuartion management and Fuel consumptions are some important aspects which have to be deeply understood my every individual to start with.

I chose this question because i want every one to understadn that sustainability is not an option but a need of the hour.