Why cloud is the greener choice
Cloud computing offers businesses more than just a safe and efficient way of storing data centrally — it also provides environmental advantages in a time when climate change and global warming have become intertwined and urgent issues.
The cloud is considered more sustainable than traditional IT approaches. According to TechUK’s Cloud 2020 & Beyond report, cloud services provide businesses with a quick win in cutting down emissions, while new research shows that cloud data centres have enabled computing output to increase while energy consumption remains low.
How cloud tech furthers the green movement
A modern set-up
Cloud computing brings economies of scale by operating hyperscale modern facilities. Salvatore Schiano from global research company, Forrester, says that the cloud plays a crucial role in environmental sustainability, and key cloud providers have made significant progress on reducing power-usage efficiency in the last decade or so.
Some data centres are located in cold climates such as northern Europe to capitalise on the benefits of free air cooling while others also research efficient and sustainable innovations. This month, Microsoft is installing new liquid immersion cooling infrastructure at a Washington datacentre aimed at saving water and lowering costs by up to 15% per server.
The multi tenancy model offers multiple different organisations (public cloud) or business units within the same organisation (private cloud) to benefit from a common cloud-based infrastructure.
Combined with automation, the ratio between peak and average loads becomes smaller, which in turn reduces the need for extra infrastructure. This results in efficiencies and economies of scale in infrastructure resources and energy consumption.
Automated app sync
Synchronisation allows different types of data to sync between various cloud-based software applications while automation allows the sync to occur simultaneously. Reviews are usually from a single portal, reducing manual check times and overall costs.
Combined with the right skills and operational and architectural standards, automation allows IT professionals to make the most of their cloud-based infrastructure by pushing the limits of traditional consolidation and utilisation ratios. The higher the ratios are, the less physical infrastructure is required.
Consume as needed
The pay-as-you-go nature of cloud-based infrastructure encourages efficiency as users only consume what they need and nothing more. Combined with self-service, life-cycle management of cloud assets should improve since resources are used as required, and can be set to "turn off" at specific expiration times.
Tech-led green agenda
Major cloud providers and leaders have been extending their commitment to cutting carbon emissions and helping customers with their own sustainability objectives.
Recently Jeff Bezos has pledged $10 billion to eco organisations, Bill Gates is pushing the avoid-a-climate-disaster agenda, Elon Musk will donate $100 million to the person with the best carbon-capture technology, and let’s not forget Google was the first company of its size to match 100% global annual electricity use with renewable energy back in 2017.
More and more, sustainability is becoming a deciding factor when it comes to buying technology, and the cloud provides many ways to help businesses better care for the planet.
“Cloud tech delivers exceptional IT results at affordable price points. At Pattern we are always working towards sustainable options for our clients, whether it’s a solution intended to scale, or cybersecurity that’s manageable for both small and large businesses,” says Jamil Geor, CTO, Pattern.
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- Bill Gates on climate change, CNBC
- Elon Musk has another idea to help climate change, Barrons
- Accelerating the transition to carbon free energy, Google
- To cool datacenter servers, Microsoft turns to boiling liquids, Microsoft
- Why the cloud is the greener choice, Raconteur
- Jeff Bezos announces first beneficiaries of his $10 billion climate fund, The Verge
- The cloud is the greener way to go, Infoworld
- 4 reasons cloud computing is also a green solution, Greenbiz