Green cloud

September 1, 2011

Following up on the previous posts around how green ‘cloud computing’ is, a piece on the Scientific American web site reveals some support for its green credentials. In “Is There a Silver Lining for the Environment in Cloud Computing?” dated 10 August 2011, the author of the report, that comes to them via Climatewire, expresses the view that while efficiency and consolidation of data centres are beneficial, there is a need for them to employ clean data sources, as reviewed in the blog post Dirty Old Cloud in April 2011, regarding a related report by Greenpeace.

Cloud computing, server and data centre rationalization and the Public Sector Network will all be components of the forthcoming Greening Government ICT Strategy, but, as the article states, these will be of less benefit if nothing changes about the source of the power used in government offices and sites.

Might we see the UK coalition government looking towards green power sources for government data centres and buildings, and requiring the same of outsourced services?

Dirty old cloud?

April 26, 2011

Thanks to the Register which pointed me to a report from Greenpeace – How dirty is your data centre 2011. I’d queried the green credentials of cloud computing in March 2011, with ‘How green is my cloud‘, but this report, whilst establishing and supporting the potential value of cloud computing, looks at the dirty detail behind the silver lining.

The report ensures that we consider the entire chain of being from electricity production onwards, but focuses on sources of energy used by some big users, their transparency and alternatives. Great work, but there are obviously a number of other ways in which the cloud might impact upon the environment in comparison with other ways of delivery. In the same way one can have food miles, there is the possibility of data miles to be calculated comparing the cost of all that old tin and the energy used and the costs in recycling and replacing the kit after a suitable lifetime.