Abstract. Energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important in the operation of networking infrastructure, especially in enterprise and data center networks. Researchers have proposed several strategies for energy management of networking devices. However, we need a comprehensive characterization of power consumption by a variety of switches and routers to accurately quantify the savings from the various power savings schemes. In this paper, we first describe the hurdles in network power instrumentation and present a power measurement study of a variety of networking gear such as hubs, edge switches, core switches, routers and wireless access points in both stand-alone mode and a production data center. We build and describe a benchmarking suite that will allow users to measure and compare the power consumed for a large set of common configurations at any switch or router of their choice. We also propose a network energy proportionality index, which is an easily measurable metric, to compare power consumption behaviors of multiple devices.
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