Green Debate: Cloud vs. On Premise
The study states, "businesses that choose to run applications in the cloud can reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by 30 percent or more versus running those same applications on their own IT infrastructure."
The benefits are stretched even further when talking about businesses with less than 100 employees.
The study sites four principle factors accounting for this reduction in energy:
- Dynamic Provisioning: Reducing wasted computing resources through better matching of server capacity with actual demand.
- Multi-Tenancy: This means that all users access the same software and hardware infrastructure minimizing wasted resources.
- Server Utilization: Operating servers at higher utilization rates.
- Data Center Efficiency: Utilizing advanced data center infrastructure designs that reduce power loss through improved cooling, power conditioning, etc.
The researchers conducted the study comparing the energy consumption of the cloud versions of Microsoft Sharepoint, Exchange and Dynamics CRM vs. the on-premise versions of the same software.
Measuring total energy consumption of cloud applications was difficult as the researchers had to take into account the data center's energy consumption but the team took a comprehensive approach and its findings appear to be very accurate.
What this means
Moving to cloud by no means eliminates your technology carbon footprint, but it will drastically reduce it. Furthermore, efforts are being taken by the major data center operators to build more sustainable and efficient data centers that will contribute to sustainable cloud computing growth.