“Greenability” as an architecturally significant requirement

Waves of new categories of requirements reflect reactions of users, communities, and organizations alike to our changing environment. The past decade of software development enjoyed specializations around key concerns such as usability, security, and privacy and explorations on their architectural significance. Greenability has also been emerging as a key category of requirements to consider. Yes, there is a fraction of “we must be relevant to the world’s agenda, especially during such tough economic times” but it also poses some exciting enough challenging problems: What are architectural patterns that result in consumption of less battery life and/or use of less hardware space that result in less use of environmental resources? What does it mean to make your software greener – should the concerns be explored independent of hardware? What are some key questions that lead to verifiable scenarios helping an architect boast about environmental friendly software architecture?

This year at the International Conference of Software Engineering that was held at Vancouver, Canada one aspect of software architectural significance of greenability which was explored in some research papers was dynamic management of disk drives, consumption of power as it applies to management of data centers. There are certainly others: for example foot print of deployed software and battery consumption in hand-held devices. These concerns have been long there for their usability and beating the competition aspects, but relevant scenarios can be explored also from the perspective of greenability.

Type the key words IT greenability, green software in your most favorite search engine if you have not explored this yet .  You will see a lot of new life for already proven concepts – such as use of product-line architectures for more sustainable software, pun intended, but there are certainly thought provoking aspects as well.

-Ipek Ozkaya, SEI

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