How Companies Are Cleaning Up The Cloud And The Earth

How Companies Are Cleaning Up The Cloud And The Earth

Over the past decade, our use of the Internet has increased dramatically. Once used just for information, the Internet is now the primary source of entertainment. While most still use it to look up information, we also use the Internet to watch the latest movies and television shows through Netflix, we play games online through Steam, XBox Live, and PlayStation Network, and we stream music through Pandora and Spotify. Because of this, many companies have resorted to storing almost all of their information in the cloud. The biggest users of the cloud are exactly the companies you might expect: Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Apple. But what exactly are they doing to clean up the cloud?

data-centers

They’re Using Renewable Energy

The statistics don’t lie: By 2020, there’s going to be an estimated 50-fold increase in the amount of information we access digitally. Because these data centers need to be up constantly, they use a tremendous amount of energy. Some data centers even consume the equivalent energy use of 180,000 homes!

Three companies have started to take a stand against the massive amount of data consumed. Google and Yahoo are the first companies to take a stand and use renewable energy as they expand their reach via the cloud. Facebook, now with more than 700 million users, has also realized the importance of using renewable energy, and their data center in Sweden is powered only by renewable energy.

On the other hand, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple are all using “dirty energy“, which is essentially electrical pollution. They have no plans to switch to renewable energy anytime soon, and are all expanding with complete disregard to electricity usage. In fact, they market the cloud as “green“, which is incorrect. It may be a “green” concept for individual consumers, but that impact is just transferred over to the corporations.

Of the largest tech based companies, Dell, Yahoo, and Facebook have the highest energy index, while Apple, Amazon, Oracle, and Salesforce have the lowest.

They’re Strategically Placing Their Data Centers

When it comes to installing data centers, location matters. For companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon, they’re not worried about where they expand to. For companies like Google and Yahoo, however, they take the availability of renewable energy into account. In addition, some companies are also looking at “free cooling” as an important factor. This technique allows the outside air to cool off the data center instead of wasting more energy on energy-intensive chillers.

The projected prevalence of renewable energy makes Sweden and Germany attractive to certain companies, like Facebook, Spotify, AT&T and IBM. Meanwhile, Microsoft is in the Netherlands, which has very little renewable energy.

In order to make a quick dollar, many companies are utilizing low-cost dirty energy, which increases the demand for coal, as well as the associated pollution.

Chicago has one of the top five largest data center markets in North America, even though renewable energy use is less than ten percent of all energy used in Illinois. As more companies move to Chicago, this will only get worse as more choose to use the low-cost option. Should Microsoft start a push for renewable energy use, they could make it a trend in the area, with the majority of companies switching to either renewable energy or wind power.

As most people browse the net, they most likely don’t take into account just how much data their both sending and receiving to the cloud. However, the energy is transferred to a data center, which may or may not be using renewable energy. As we continue to utilize the Internet in our day to day lives, think of the data centers that are processing this information and how they’re powered. Do you want to financially support a company that doesn’t care about the earth and utilizes dirty energy, or would you rather support a company that’s using innovative techniques to clean up the air and create a better future? The next time you have the opportunity, support the company that cares about the world that we all share.

By Miles Young

Miles is a freelance writer, tech geek and world traveler. He’s currently interested in mobile devices and satellite Internet technology. Follow him @MrMilesYoung on Twitter.

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Three Challenges of Network Deployment in Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Private Cloud

Three Challenges of Network Deployment in Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Private Cloud

Hyperconverged Infrastructure In this article, we’ll explore three challenges that are associated with network deployment in a hyperconverged private cloud environment, and then we’ll consider several methods to overcome those challenges. The Main Challenge: Bring Your Own (Physical) Network Some of the main challenges of deploying a hyperconverged infrastructure software solution in a data center are the diverse physical…

Cloud Native Trends Picking Up – Legacy Security Losing Ground

Cloud Native Trends Picking Up – Legacy Security Losing Ground

Cloud Native Trends Once upon a time, only a select few companies like Google and Salesforce possessed the knowledge and expertise to operate efficient cloud infrastructure and applications. Organizations patronizing those companies benefitted with apps that offered new benefits in flexibility, scalability and cost effectiveness. These days, the sharp division between cloud and on-premises infrastructure…

Connecting With Customers In The Cloud

Connecting With Customers In The Cloud

Customers in the Cloud Global enterprises in every industry are increasingly turning to cloud-based innovators like Salesforce, ServiceNow, WorkDay and Aria, to handle critical systems like billing, IT services, HCM and CRM. One need look no further than Salesforce’s and Amazon’s most recent earnings report, to see this indeed is not a passing fad, but…

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart  Breaches Formal verification is not a new concept. In a nutshell, the process uses sophisticated math to prove or disprove whether a system achieves its desired functional specifications. It is employed by organizations that build products that absolutely cannot fail. One of the reasons NASA rovers are still roaming Mars…

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And Virtual Reality This is a term I created (Virtual Immersion). Ah…the sweet smell of Virtual Immersion Success! Virtual Immersion© (VI) an extension/expansion of Virtual Reality to include the senses beyond visual and auditory. Years ago there was a television commercial for a bathing product called Calgon. The tagline of the commercial was Calgon…

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Paying Attention To Data Security Your biggest data security threat could be sitting next to you… Data security is a big concern for businesses. The repercussions of a data security breach ranges from embarrassment, to costly lawsuits and clean-up jobs – particularly when confidential client information is involved. But although more and more businesses are…

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise of BI Data Every few years, a new concept or technological development is introduced that drastically improves the business world as a whole. In 1983, the first commercially handheld mobile phone debuted and provided workers with an unprecedented amount of availability, leading to more productivity and profits. More recently, the Cloud has taken…

Beacons Flopped, But They’re About to Flourish in the Future

Beacons Flopped, But They’re About to Flourish in the Future

Cloud Beacons Flying High When Apple debuted cloud beacons in 2013, analysts predicted 250 million devices capable of serving as iBeacons would be found in the wild within weeks. A few months later, estimates put the figure at just 64,000, with 15 percent confined to Apple stores. Beacons didn’t proliferate as expected, but a few…

Using Private Cloud Architecture For Multi-Tier Applications

Using Private Cloud Architecture For Multi-Tier Applications

Cloud Architecture These days, Multi-Tier Applications are the norm. From SharePoint’s front-end/back-end configuration, to LAMP-based websites using multiple servers to handle different functions, a multitude of apps require public and private-facing components to work in tandem. Placing these apps in entirely public-facing platforms and networks simplifies the process, but at the cost of security vulnerabilities. Locating everything…