The cloud may just be that “greener” alternative we’ve all been searching for.
Cloud computing has not only flourished within the last few years, but has also introduced numerous benefits to businesses AND the environment. The cloud has proven that not only can it help to reduce the amount of energy that an organization consumes, but it can also help to reduce carbon emissions!
Server Sprawl and its Energy Consumption
In traditional IT situations, in-house servers were used to host anything from applications, databases, games, mail, printing, web, and so forth. Each of these would need to have a singular server to host that particular component. This meant that organizations needed to purchase many servers to handle all of their different business requirements. Not only does this force an organization to spend a considerable amount of money in order to run one thing on a server, but you then create what’s known as server sprawl, or the lack of utilization of a server. This common business practice not only presents a costly CapEx model, but also happens to consume a whole lot more energy and expels higher amounts of carbon emissions.
As organizations manage a few servers up to hundreds or thousands of servers, you not only run into the issue of wasted electricity to run each server, but the wasted hardware that isn’t being utilized by each server. The cloud presents a completely redesigned way to house an IT environment and can help to reduce the amount of energy utilized, as well as the amount of hardware needed. The cloud gives organizations the ability to manage multiple components in the cloud, which eliminates the need to host servers in-house. This can reduce cost, time, and along the theme of this article, energy. These “virtual” machines are accessed over the internet and physically housed in data centers.
Studies have been conducted looking at the realistic “green” effect that cloud computing might have on the environment. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) released a study finding that companies in North America that utilized cloud computing saved a combined annual $1.3 billion and reduced carbon emissions by an equivalent of about 200 million barrels of oil. Furthermore, a study performed jointly with Microsoft, Accenture, and WSP Environment & Energy came to the conclusion that a business of about 100 employees can reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by more than 90%. As the organization grows, that figure equates to about 30% for a 10,000 employee organization. All from just moving your applications into the cloud versus hosting it in-house.
The Beauty of Multi-Tenancy
One of the most common forms of cloud computing is the public cloud, or a multi-tenant environment. Within a multi-tenant environment, organizations utilize communal hardware resources from within their own cloud environment. This doesn’t mean that everyone can access your cloud environment, it just means that you’re purchasing your “piece of the pie” instead of the whole thing. Moving to a multi-tenant model can also help to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions because it reduces the amount of infrastructure needed as well as the energy needed to run it. A business can move to a multi-tenant environment and experience all the benefits of cloud computing without having to deal with in-house infrastructure.
Going Green while Saving Money
Do more by spending less. That sounds like quite the pitch, right? Moving to the cloud has benefits on its own, like simplicity, efficiency, easier management, etc. Those benefits should be convincing enough. The added benefit of having a “green” environment when it comes to your IT may be that extra little incentive to move to the next generation of computing and IT management. This Earth Day it’s important to remember that while planting trees once a year is an exceptional way to contribute, moving to an environment that will give back to the earth every single day of operation, well, that’s unmatchable.