Abstract

Improving the energy efficiency in telecommunication networks has been one of the main research topics of the past few years. As a result, many energy efficient algorithms have been proposed, some focusing on maximizing only the energy savings, others considering also the impact that green strategies have on other network performance metrics, e.g., delay, utilization of network resources, and blocking probability. The aim of this paper is to provide new insight on the impact of energy efficient strategies, i.e., investigating the trade-off between green network operations and the reliability performance of optical backbone devices. The study is motivated by the intuition that energy efficient strategies are usually based on putting unutilized devices in power saving (sleep) mode, which can have some side effects (e.g., frequent on/sleep switching, and/or high fiber link utilization) that may affect the working conditions of a device. To better understand these phenomena, this paper presents a number of models aimed at estimating the reliability performance changes of a device as a function of its average working temperature, of its temperature variations, and of its average occupancy. These models are then used to carry out a study both at the component and at the network levels. The study at the component level shows that erbium-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFAs) are critical devices, i.e., their achievable energy savings might not cover the additional reparation costs resulting from their reliability performance degradation. Similar findings are reached also with the network level study. In summary, it can be concluded that the use of energy efficient routing algorithms based on setting EDFAs in sleep mode may not always be beneficial.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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