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Module Descriptor School of Computer Science and Statistics

Module CodeCS7052
Module NameSustainable Computing
Module Short Title
Semester Taught2nd Semester
Contact Hours

Lecture hours:22

Lab hours:3

Tutorial hours:8

Total hours:33

Module PersonnelProfessor Donal O’Mahony
Learning Outcomes

Students will develop  a broad understanding of the issues surrounding energy supply and demand as well as the adverse effects of consumption on the environment.

Students should understand how energy is currently expended and in particular understand what proportion of this is accounted for by ICT.  They should be able to critically assess the options for deriving this energy from hydrocarbon, nuclear or renewable sources.  Student should develop an appreciation for the role Computing and ICT plays in resource consumption now, how that is changing and how it will evolve in the future. Students should be able to articulate the arguments for and against the major migration of computer applications towards the cloud computing model.  They should understand the energy implications of this and its role in sustainable ICT. Students should have knowledge of the level of waste that is generated by the ICT industry.  They should know how this is currently being handled, be aware of good and bad practice and be able to engage in intelligent debate of this topic with their peers

Learning Aims

This course introduces the foundations of sustainability and gives an appreciation for how energy is currently used in ICT and the problems created by the continuous growth of the ICT industry.  The course will then delve into some detail on where power is consumed in current networks and how new techniques and trends will affect this.  It will examine initiatives that have been taken to date, the impact that they have had and the prospects for future initiatives that will shape the industry.

Module Content
  1. Long Term Energy usage Trends

The Tragedy of the Commons & Peak Oil

Future Prospects for Hydrocarbons - Oil Sands, Gas Shales

The Environmental Argument

Emissions Reduction – The Kyoto Protocol

Economic Mechanisms - Cap & Trade

  1. Personal Energy Consumption

The 125 lightbulbs model

Renewable Energy – expected contribution

Nuclear – potential and obstacles

  1. ICT’s Role in Power Consumption

Individual PC & Servers – consumption and trends

Endpoint Consumption beyond PCs

The Cloud Computing Concept

Cloud Hardware & Software Platforms

Cloud Economics

Energy usage, Cooling, Packaging

Examples of Cloud Computing & Warehouse Scale Computing

The Cloud Computing Workload – programming models, Map/Reduce

Power Usage in the Fixed Network

Power Usage in the Wireless Network

  1. ICT End-of-Life Processing – Sustainable approaches

Reuse Potential


Recommended Reading List

Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air, David MacKay, UIT Cambridge, 2009

The Greening of IT, John Lamb, IBM Press, 2009

Green IT, T. Velte et al, McGraw Hill, 2008

Foundations of Green IT, M. Poniatiwski, Prentice hall, 2009

The Sustainable Network, S. Sorensen, O’Reilly Media, 2009

Module Prerequisites
Assessment Details

%100  Coursework

Supplemental 100% coursework

Module Website
Academic Year of Data