Jose Luis Sambo


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Virtualization as a Tool for Efficient Resource Consumption – a Framework for Mozambican Universities

The phenomenon of climate change and the resulting focus on energy consumption has created a consensus among business about the need for a collective reduction in carbon emissions. A range of new green technologies, such cloud computing, provide unprecedented opportunities to improve the efficiency of business operations and represent a realistic opportunity to reduce energy cost and combat global warming(Scott & Watson, 2012).

The operation of large Data Centers (DC) with thousands of servers is very costly in terms of energy consumption and cooling requirements. Currently, major efforts can be observed for server virtualization and consolidation to approach a proportionality between computation amount and energy consumption.(Kuehn & Mashaly, 2015)

Energy use is the single largest contributor to the carbon footprint of the ICT sector. The ICT industry relies on the increasing use of electricity for manufacturing, distributing, and running equipment, applications, and services. According with to observations in the field, Mozambican’s public universities are not adopting Green IT each university has its own IT infrastructure and they work in traditional mode, as an example Universidade Pedagógica according to the information provided by Centro de Informática da Universidade Pedagógica – CIUP, the university has more than 25 Servers and uncounted different network equipment in the server pool. Each server at least consumes about 18kW/day of energy and emit more than unspecified CO2 to the atmosphere what in the point of view of sustainability and climate is very danger for the future generation(Christmann, 2000). The huge number of server is related with the lack of Green Solution such as Cloud computing, Virtualization or Grid Computing.

Each server runs only one application or service some of them for only internal propose (Intranet). This traditional way of providing services could be overcame by cloud computing, but, the narrow bandwidth generally in Africa is one of the critical issue for adoption.

(Mujinga, 2012) related that, in Africa, cloud computing is being used in some companies. But even though the companies are not adopting due some issues like availability and unreliable energy, especially in rural areas.

Many companies with unreliability Internet are still investing huge amount by setting up IT infrastructures to maintain their in-house to host applications and data, instead to adopt cloud based system, which comes with many benefits such as economic and environmental sustainable(Beauclair & Reynolds, n.d.). The barriers of the adoption mostly is related with high Speed Internet which is required.

One of the preliminary solution due the limitation might be virtualization. Virtualization has brought a revolution, and has converted pure hardware requirements to a software implementation (Kaur & Kakkar, 2014). The focus of server virtualization is to create virtual machines or virtual environments by normal server hardware and a virtual software. Virtual machine software enables sharing physical hardware among several instances(Kumar & Charu, 2015).

One major advantage of virtualization is flexibility. And flexibility is major goal in designing server environment.

The main objective of this research is to create a framework for Mozambican’s universities to undertake IT for Green initiatives via Virtualization as a factor to reduce resources.

To achieve the above major objective, the following specific objectives were elaborated:

  • Assessing the current environment of IT infrastructure of the universities;
  • Study the virtualization architecture and  different virtualization techniques;
  • Perform studies in Virtualization Model
  • Design of the framework to virtualize the universities IT infrastructure.