Parthenon Software Group

Continuing to Go Green: Green Software

Green computing has been around for a while now, but there are still many ways in which one can improve their green efforts. With all the talk flying around, one can assume that most everyone knows how a green strategy can be applied to the tech and equipment required for computing. I even highlighted some ways to be more green friendly a couple years ago. At the same time, there are other avenues that are equally important, but not emphasized nearly as much. One of these is green software. 

Software plays an important role in computing, from its development to its use. Finding ways to increase its green-ness will not only lessen the carbon footprint of software, but also lead to effective performance. To be honest, it’s not exactly easy to think of software as making a big impact on the environment, but one has to take into account CPU and its consumption of power and energy.

In a nutshell green means simple and fast with lower resource usage. Let’s look at some ways that software can be more green-friendly. 

  • Use Open Source Software
    • Open source software alternatives feature a collaborative and more effective development process. It is also classified as low resource software which gets eliminates any unnecessary bulk
  • Think faster code rather than a faster machine
    • For the most part, older machines with less memory and smaller hard drives are bashed for being outdated. However, when it comes to developing green software they might just be the trick. Not only do they produce less of a carbon imprint, they also allow for more emphasis to be put on the code and it’s efficiency.
  • Think about computational efficiency: effective algorithms, multi-threading and other like-minded methodologies.
    • Choosing the right algorithm can mean a world of difference in the level of performance. Moreover, the use of multi-threading means faster performance. Thus, less time and energy is expended.
  • Retrace your steps
    • While going back over your work is much easier to say than to actually do there may be areas of code that could be coded to be more green.
  • Furthermore, one has to consider the possibility that more efficient use of hardware and better techniques could be on the way as the need for high level performance continues to prevail.

Like most IT practices, green software is hardly a new concept, but it has certainly garnered a great deal of discussion. There are those who have questioned the plausibility of green software as a whole, but there have been some advances in its exploration. Does that mean all the work is done? Hardly. Green software techniques are still being realized, discussed and explored in every stage of the development process.  

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