At the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, the world responded with the cloud. Don’t you think?
Even in the last year, we had observed USD 1.1 trillion spending on the cloud. Of course, there’s a significant increase in this year – USD 0.04 trillion (Total: USD 1.14 trillion) to be specific.
But, how can this increase in cloud computing adoption help the environment?
It empowers businesses to utilize virtual cloud storage, avoiding the need for costly in-house infrastructure, which also decreases environmental footprints.
It is hard to imagine cloud as a green IT solution because we have always observed cloud computing as a resourceful virtual implementation alternative for physical storage. In reality, the cloud’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) promotes two of the most important green approaches: resource and energy efficiency. This is regardless of your public or private cloud usage.
This article will explore the environment-friendly nature of cloud IT solutions. Let’s discuss the reasons why the cloud is a green IT solution.
Here’s Why Cloud Is a Green IT Solution
According to recent data, if you move your important applications to the cloud, you can decrease up to 87% of the energy consumption of the office. Here’s how:
1. Improved Resource energy
The technology which gave birth to cloud infrastructure is virtualization. With the help of cloud virtualization, you can run more than one operating system on a single server using system images.
Can you see how virtualization decreases physical footprints? For instance, if 5 organizations are using virtual copies of OS for their remote working, they are practically using one infrastructure for it. This eliminates the need for different infrastructure units for every organization. Hence, decreasing the number of server elements needed for OS and remote storage set up.
Simply put, if we analyze the situation from the perspective of resource-efficiency, fewer equipment units are utilized for a certain workload. This reduces e-waste (As already discussed above).
On the other hand, if we analyze the situation from the perspective of energy-efficiency, then fewer equipment units mean less energy utilization and consumption.
2. Automation Support
While virtualization gave a kick-start to this journey, it can’t alone improvise the resource and energy efficiency of an organization – or as a whole. This is because every organization needs to scale, move, and sometimes modify its workload. To achieve that, automation is required for cloud-based architecture.
For this reason, the right automation tool is utilized with cloud services for maximized architectural and operational efficiency. This helps businesses to push traditional utilization ratios of the organization.
When this utilization ratio is maximized, the need for physical infrastructure is reduced. With that, the efficiency of resource and energy use is also maximized through virtualization.
3. Pay-Per-Use and Related Efficiency
One of the most valuable benefits of the cloud is being able to pay as per your utilization. If you have fewer requirements, your cloud bill also decreases. If you have more requirements, your cloud bill increases. Here, due to self-service availability, life-cycle management is better and resource consumption can be turned off when it is not in use.
Do you think this has a connection with resource and energy efficiencies?
It surely does.
When the user pays for what they utilize, they are more cautious about the utilization. As a result, they would only consume as much as it is absolutely required. Hence, the wastage of resources is minimized to a great extent.
When that happens, energy and resource efficiencies also improve by a significant factor.
4. Multi-Tenancy Benefit
Multi-tenancy means that more than one business is using the same cloud, as in the case of a public cloud, or more than one unit are using the same space, as in the case of a private cloud.
When multi-tenancy is utilized, the compute load is flattened across the organization. This is because of the use of automation and cloud efficiency that helps in controlling highs and lows of the load. Thus, reducing the gap in average and peak loads of usage.
Due to this, you don’t have to employ another infrastructure unit, which improves resource and energy efficiency.
5. Reduced Environment Footprints
An indirect benefit of using the cloud is the ability to hire remote staff. Of course, the remote staff seems cost-effective and extremely valuable when you don’t want the extra hassle. However, one hidden benefit is environment friendliness.
Remote employees have a fewer commute and less real-estate requirements, which greatly impacts the environment positively.
This is not a direct benefit of cloud computing. But, it is still a benefit that we are able to realize because of cloud computing and its anytime, anywhere usage feature.
6. Paperless Execution
One common benefit of cloud computing is paperless execution. When you have cloud technology, you can access your data anytime from anywhere. This means that you don’t have to take printouts of documents to carry them anywhere. You don’t even have to copy the files in another storage drive to ensure mobility.
All you need, in this case, is an internet connection to access any file from any corner of the world.
For instance, using QuickBooks software on the cloud, you can access accounting data anytime. You don’t have to create huge reports, print them, and file them. Everything can be achieved online on a common platform. It reduces the paper-based consumption of the organization, almost eliminating it for a few departments.
How to Maximize Resource and Energy Efficiency?
Let’s see how cloud providers and cloud-infrastructure buyers can ensure maximization of cloud efficiency:
Although there’s no doubt about the fact that cloud-infrastructure can improve resource and energy efficiency, the carbon footprints are still significantly large. This means that even when organizations are able to reduce carbon footprints by using the same infrastructure, they are not able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is because the cloud infrastructure still runs on fossil fuels and increases greenhouse gas emissions.
Ideally, to make the cloud completely green, vendors should utilize renewable energy like hydroelectricity, wind power, and solar power.
In every traditional benefit of the cloud, you can also find a green environmental benefit as well. For instance, the reduced cost due to collective usage also improves resource utilization and minimizes the energy utilization. Similar to this, every other benefit of the cloud helps us move towards a green environment-friendly working. Isn’t it?