The Carbon Footprints of Cloud Computing
IT is a tool to reach environmental sustainability objectives which allow business entities to report, manage, analyze, and measure environmental data in order to manage risks and lessen their general impact. The kind of IT services and infrastructure chosen is part of the business entity’s carbon footprint which can control the growth and scale through time. Cloud computing is a solution which lessens hardware requirements, offers scalability, and provides reductions in carbon and direct energy emissions. It also provides efficiency to business scalability, processes, and improved collaboration and communication.
Although cloud computing can greatly lessen IT’s environmental impact, sad to say, cloud models differ in efficiency. Therefore, business entities can include environmental performance as a factor when considering taking advantage of the cloud computing benefits. An on-site IT infrastructure usually operates in extremely low levels of utilization unlike those which operates on a public cloud providing greater utilization rates, and scalability due to elastic provisioning and multi-tenancy. A private cloud can provide greater rates of utilization and elastic provisioning but compared to a public cloud, a public cloud can provide multi-tenancy which is important in carbon efficiency. A business entity must consider these factors before moving to the clouds because these can affect environmental value and business performance.
Migration to the cloud can provide significant and clear benefits in terms of carbon emission and energy efficiency. Cloud computing providers and their clients can obtain benefits from data and services management and transition to huge cloud environments. The transition will provide continuous improvement in carbon footprints and energy consumption. Cloud computing service vendors must be able to invest and select renewable energy sources to power their datacenters. Aside from that, they must be able to influence policymakers not only on the national scale but on the global scale as well. Not only can cloud computing have an influential role on a large scale, it can also provide IT sustainability by dealing with carbon footprints now.
In conclusion, a cloud computing provider must provide a cloud platform which can offer carbon efficiency benefits which are measurable. Through elastic provisioning and multi-tenancy, a service provider is able to support a large number of customers using just a few servers which must be efficient not only in architecture but in code design as well. When cloud computing customers grow continuously, it is expected than carbon emissions will have dramatic reductions.
It is expected that business entities will move their computing and data requirements to public clouds thereby re-allocating or retiring their servers. The potential savings are very possible when these companies take advantage of the opportunities and benefits of public cloud computing. Business organizations can embrace Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service which will allow any independent software supplier or business entity’s IT department to create cloud based software and run them on a highly effective and efficient infrastructure which will contribute positively to the IT ecosystem by reducing carbon footprints.
IT sustainability, through electronic media, must make a move towards having a lead role in reducing carbon footprints. Any improvement in methodologies is a welcome relief so that everyone can better understand the true impacts of technology on the environment. Cloud computing providers have a responsibility in ensuring that the model they are ascribing to are highly efficient so as to help reduce carbon emissions.
By Florence de Borja
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