Going green usually translates into extra spending, but there’s one particular field where taking the eco-friendly route can actually become profitable – cloud computing. Plus, you get that warm fuzzy feeling deep down inside that you’re doing the right thing.
In light of Earth Day, I’d like to talk about protecting Mother Nature by moving server-dependent operations to the cloud – as opposed to maintaining an on-premise server in a dark room of your establishment.
A blessing for technology and our planet alike
I recently came across an analysis by Sustainable Brands from 2013 that outlines the major advantages of cloud computing from an environmental standpoint. It could have well been written yesterday because it speaks truths that are still applicable in cloud services today.
I won’t bore you with the details, so here’s the general idea. Cloud service providers can afford to lavish huge sums of cash on things like cooling, allocating resources, and equipment efficiency because keeping their data centers running is their day job. They’re good at it. So instead of you spending a fortune to do the same for your clunky server (and also make inefficient use of it), why not let the experts handle your data? This results in major energy savings, a smaller carbon footprint, and a smaller bottom line. And wouldn’t you know it, data centers are statistically safer too.
The environmental-friendly part is also true. It wasn’t five years ago, but it is today. More and more data centers are now being powered by the sun and geothermal energy than ever before. In fact, clouds have become so ubiquitous that the focus now is to enhance them, not to fix their problems.
Cloud supporters everywhere
Cloud computing has also created new business opportunities. Take Hydro 66. Based in stone-cold Sweden, these guys offer the word’s first 100% hydroelectric-powered collocation data center. Since inception Hydro 66 has allegedly saved 537,342 kWh and their energy bill is twice as small as that of an equivalent cloud in the UK.
Truth be told, many of their bragging rights are actually owed to the weather. The company’s location in Boden in northern Sweden is naturally cold all year around, which means they spend far less on cooling than many other cloud vendors. For who’s asking, winters in Sweden regularly go below -20°C (-4°F) and summers peak at 25°C (68°F).
iPhone-maker Apple Inc. is no stranger to the power of the cloud either. Just a few years ago iCloud had yet to be born, and today Apple is a leader in cloud computing. All of the company’s American data centers are 100% powered by renewable energy. That’s right. Not a single Apple server relies on fossil fuels.
In recent years, companies like Upsite Technologies have made a name for themselves in the cloud industry for providing specialized services to keep data centers running in pristine condition. Upsite is an expert in data center airflow management. It provides a suite of products and services designed to optimize data center cooling systems which allows managers to reduce energy costs. Again, two birds killed with one stone – greener and cheaper operations (this time for the cloud vendor itself).
The list could go on, but any way you look at it, the cloud plays an instrumental role our society. Today, more than any other day of the year, clouds everywhere deserve to make themselves heard. To celebrate Earth Day and help with the movement, visit the Earth Day Network at earthday.org. Or you can skip all that and plant a tree.