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Cloud Computing to Reduce Data Center Energy Consumption
Whether cloud computing is a more sustainable and more eco-friendly way of running data centers is an ongoing debate which gets more intense as firms like Gartner and Pike Research are coming out with reports to support the claim of cloud as a green technology. According to the latest figures, data centers represent 1.5 percent of world total electricity consumption. Many industry experts agree in their findings that cloud computing is a greener alternative for running conventional data centers as it leads to reduction of carbon footprint they create.
By outsourcing servers to a cloud provider, companies can reduce the environmental impact of their operations. To prepare their data centers and servers for unexpected traffic spikes, companies have to power a lot more server volume than they actually need at all times which is why they are mostly underutilized. But servers still consume almost the same amount of electricity whether they are in use or idle.
On the other hand, established cloud providers are focusing their efforts on improvement of their computing operations to increase the utilization of data centre resources. Dynamic provisioning enables better matching of server capacity to demand, and the multitenant nature of the cloud allows serving hundreds of organizations simultaneously on shared infrastructure.
The report from Pike Research, a cleantech market intelligence firm, found that the wide adoption of cloud computing will have significant effect on both energy expenditure and green house gas emissions. According to “Cloud Computing Energy Efficiency“ report, global data center energy consumption will be reduced by 38 percent by the year 2020, in comparison to what the growth of data center capacity would be without cloud computing.
“The growth of cloud computing will have a very significant positive effect on data centre energy consumption,“ said senior analyst at Pike Research, Eric Woods. “Few, if any, clean technologies have the capability to reduce energy expenditures and greenhouse gas production with so little business disruption. Software as a service, infrastructure as a service, and platform as a service are all inherently more efficient models than conventional alternatives, and their adoption will be one of the largest contributing factors to the greening of enterprise IT.”
The report finds the reduction will drive total data center energy expenses down from $23.3 billion in 2010 to $16 billion in 2020, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent. Analysts at Pike Research say that the report provides an extensive analysis of the energy efficiency benefits of cloud computing, including an assesment of the SaaS, PaaS and IaaS markets.