Why is cloud computing a green technology?
To understand the potential advantage of cloud computing in more detail, it Is important to look at the different factors contributing to a lower per- user carbon footprint. These factors apply across cloud providers in general and are even relevant for many on-premise scenarios.
The comparatively smaller carbon footprint of cloud computing is a consequence of both improved infrastructure efficiency and a reduced need for it infrastructure, to support a given user base. In turn, these primary levers are heavily influenced by four key factors.
- Dynamic Provisioning: Cloud providers can reduce the inefficiency caused by over-provisioning by optimizing the number of active servers to support a given user base.
- Multi-tenancy: Major cloud providers are able to serve millions of users at thousands of companies simultaneously on one massive shared infrastructure.. By operating multi-tenant environments, cloud providers can reduce overhead for on-boarding and managing individual organizations and users.
- Server Utilization: Cloud computing can drive energy savings by improving server utilization. As large-scale cloud providers tend to run their infrastructure at higher and more stable utilization levels than corresponding on-premise operations, the same tasks can be performed with far fewer servers.
- Data Center Efficiency: data center design-the way facilities are physically constructed, equipped with IT and supporting infrastructure, and managed- has a major impact on the energy use for a given amount of computing power. A common measure of how efficiently a data center uses its power is called power usage effectiveness ratio.
In addition other important factors to the four primary drivers of cloud computing´s environmental advantage, other contributing factors are worth mentioning:
- Hardware comes with an “embodied” carbon footprint from the energy associated with producing, distributing and disposing of equipment.
- Cloud providers are more likely to take an active role in tailoring hardware components to the specific needs of the services they run.
Cloud computing drives the efficiency of IT with unprecedented economies of scale, higher sophistication and strong incentives to create ongoing efficiencies and continue improvement while protecting the environment.
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