Network-based computing is fast becoming the preferred business IT choice over traditional in-house based computing. As well, daily business and individual computing are now migrating from hard drives to Internet servers. For instance, Facebook has cited that more than 100 million photos get uploaded to their site each day. Cloud computing has become the number one choice for businesses due to its range of beneficial features that include: high availability, high performance, reliability, dynamic scalability, redundancy, and it allows businesses to reduce their IT costs. Other than giving businesses an effective way to host their websites, it has been now determined that cloud computing has a lower impact on the environment.
A recent study released by Microsoft along with Accenture and WSP entitled, “Cloud Computing and Sustainability” looked at the environmental impact of running business software internally and with an outsourced provider. The study revealed that outsourcing companies reduces energy consumption. As well, it reduces the carbon footprint by up to 90 percent.
As cloud computing grows and expands, so will energy consumption of the computing resources and networks that support the cloud. Because there is a global concern about energy consumption and the need to reduce it, it is important to assess energy consumption of the networks that are key to connecting users to the cloud. Data centers are the central power base of the Cloud. Currently, data centers are responsible for 2% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. However, an analysis by Pike Research has supported claims that a decrease in the cost of the energy of global data centers can be up to 38 percent by 2020 because of the cloud’s efficient computing abilities.
Experts that study internet computing technology and its carbon footprint advise that cloud providers must be more forthcoming regarding their utilization and consumption to effectively get a handle on how green cloud computing really is. According to a Gartner report that looked at the carbon footprint of the ICT industry, environmentalists are worried that the industry is confused about efficiency and sustainability. Only when all of the facts are made apparent can cloud technical researchers assess the data and work to make the technology more energy efficient.