Introducing vHGW

According to the current studies, the telecom infrastructure is the major contributor for the ever increasing energy demand in the ICT sector and has a major part on carbon footprint to the environment [2]. And surprisingly, more than 80% of this share is consumed by the Home Gateways (HGs) [1]

In this regard, the introduction of Network Protocol Agent [3] was an important contribution in reducing HG’s overall energy consumption by power downing its various functional blocks, while maintaining network connectivity and monitoring any service interruption. However, power downing or putting in standby a HG does not have a significant reduction in energy consumption, as most HG still consumes more than 8 Watt during their idle time [4, 5].

On the other hand, the promising study result in [6] reports that pulling some functionality of HG’s to the access and/or the backhaul network of Network Service Provider (NSP) has a benefit in terms of CAPEX, OPEX and TTM of new emerging services. Yet, the potential of service relocation from HG’s was not explored to address energy saving in the wire line telecom infrastructure.

Hence, in this preliminary work, we have explored the possibility of relocating some of the functionalities of a HG into a vHGW (virtual Home Gateway) which is hosted by a node located in NSP premises. Based on our experiment, it was possible to host up to 1000 vHGWs on a single server machine which consumes around 100W. And our result showed that the number of vHGWs hosted on server machine does not have a significant variation on its energy consumption. We have also confirmed that the capability of a vHGW’s in the provision of the network and application level services such as, routing, DHCP, firewalling and NAT, alike HG’s.

If we consider a replacement of the current HG by a quasi passive device (which can consume around 1Watt) and if we suppose that end users have triple play services over a fiber link (FTTH). By pulling those network and application level services into a vHGW and using a server machine that can host around a 1000 vHGW’s (and probably more in a near future), we can obtain about 300% energy saving in the overall wire line telecom networks. Therefore, the result of our experiment is aligned to and complies with the recommendation set by the GreenTouch project (http://greentouch.org).

Hence, the result of this study shows the benefit of service relocation of HG’s by reducing significantly the overall energy consumption of a wire line network, and minimizing the sector’s impact on the environment.

References