Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Is Cloud Computing Environmentally Friendly?

Today we have a guest post from Sally Rogers:

Cloud computing is rapidly changing the face of business IT. Companies both big and small are increasingly making the move towards cloud virtualization. From greatly simplifying the world of IT support to cutting overheads, having the ability to centralise company IT in a virtual cloud format offers many advantages. By using the cloud, companies are also able to reduce their hardware and software requirements, making it a truly cost-effective IT solution.

However, with the current widespread concern over global warming, companies are trying to reduce their carbon footprints. Because of this, many businesses are asking the question; is cloud computing environmentally friendly? Here are some ways in which moving to the cloud can help make companies that much greener.

Reducing Power Consumption
With the IT industry consuming a large chunk of the world's energy, it is vital that companies take a more eco-friendly approach to computing. One of the main ways in which cloud computing allows companies to reduce their power demands is by decreasing their hardware requirements. When IT systems are virtualized in the cloud, companies only need an internet connection in order to access their resources, meaning there is no need for the likes of in-house servers. Being able to get rid of servers and the cooling equipment they require can dramatically reduce company power consumption. This large-scale virtualization enables companies to retain the same IT functionality with less energy needed.

In-house servers can consume a lot of power.

Efficient Data Centres
On paper, being able to get rid of in-house servers is a great step towards more environmentally friendly computing. However, some may ask whether or not the problem is merely being shifted around instead of being solved. After all, cloud service providers still require a lot of raw computing power in order to provide IT virtualization. This is a completely valid and important question to ask, however, the cloud is a lot greener than it may seem.

Cloud data centres usually endeavour to use the most power-efficient hardware possible in order to minimise their environmental impact. Instead of every company housing their own inefficient hardware, cloud servers consolidate computing resources into effective and efficient data centres. Cloud servers may require more energy than a single company, but cumulatively, the energy consumption is significantly reduced. With cloud service providers striving to use the most eco-friendly hardware available, companies can rest assured that they aren't simply masking the issue of going green.

Cloud service providers try to use the most energy-efficient hardware.

Limiting Resource Redundancy
One of the main problems when companies run their own servers for IT services is idle time. Almost no companies are going to be using 100% of their computing power 100% of the time. In reality, only a fraction of the server's capabilities will be harnessed over a given period, meaning most of the time the server is idle and not being used for anything productive. Companies are still drawing on power even when their servers are idling, meaning that extra energy is simply going to waste.

One of the great things about cloud computing is the flexibility of resource allocation it confers. Companies are only given those extra resources when they are actually needed. By using only what is needed, idle time is minimised along with waste power consumption. Being able to scale resources quickly and efficiently is of great benefit to both companies and the environment.

With the impact that the world of IT has on the environment, companies need to do their part to reduce their carbon footprints. With great efficiency and minimal energy waste, cloud computing offers a viable solution to enable companies to become more eco-friendly. From cleaner hardware to proper resource allocation, cloud computing is making the world of IT a greener one.

By Bradley Houston

Image source: skreuzer and clayirving

Author Bio: Sally Rogers is a writer at Cheeky Munkey IT Company, offering posts on many fields of IT including cloud computing, network security and web hosting services.

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog about and it seems to be good source of information about Cloud Computing for Business . Thanks for sharing this post.