The Environmental Impact of Cloud Computing

The Environmental Impact of Cloud Computing

In today’s global economy, the decisions of business owners are made not just based on how they will affect the business, but also on how they will affect the world as a whole. This is seen quite well in how dedicated today’s businesses are to going green. Energy consumption is a real concern for most business owners, both for environmental reasons and also for economic reasons as costs continue to escalate. One way to go green while not cutting into services is through cloud computing.

What Is Cloud Computing

Cloud computing or cloud services refer to using an information and communications technology network to store information and perform some computing tasks. Does this sound like the Internet? Well, in reality it is. Cloud computing allows businesses to do many of their tasks via a Web-based service, rather than purchasing and installing their own software and hardware. All tasks, from basic email to complex slideshow creation, are handled through a remote computer via the cloud technology.
VMware’s vCloud is an example of this type of setup. With vCloud, a business can maintain its own existing IT infrastructure, while still utilizing the cloud technology to store and access data. Applications can be accessed, managed and secured while in the cloud. This allows the company to avoid the purchase of its own internal servers and computers to handle this task, while still giving them full control over the way in which their technology works. For those who do not have an existing IT infrastructure, vCloud allows for use of its internal software applications.

How This Saves Energy

When a company stores its own data on site using its own computers, a surprising amount of energy is wasted. The computer is constantly running, yet it does not use its full potential for storage and software use. Thus, energy is consumed that is not beneficial to the company.
With cloud computing, various companies can share the hardware, thus allowing more energy efficient use of the machines. This reduces energy consumption by up to 95 percent and also cuts the company’s utility costs by up to 90 percent.
Companies that use cloud services instead of purchasing multiple copies of their software also help the environment by limiting waste. Sometimes, cloud computing allows a company to avoid purchasing a machine or two, and this also limits waste.

Saving Money While Saving Energy

Energy is not the only way that companies save when they utilize cloud computing. They also save money. With this technology, companies buy what they use, rather than paying for all of the costs of running the machines that provide the services they need. Lowered energy bills and the elimination of the need to buy expensive machines and software increase a company’s bottom line.
Saving energy can also bring in more business. Going green is hugely popular with the general public, and companies can maximize on this as a marketing ploy. Through cloud computing, they can brand themselves as being “energy efficient.” Maximizing on this through public relations can bring in more business.
Unlike other green solutions for business, this one does not end up costing more, yet it still appeals to the customers and helps drum up more business. This makes it a winning solution for savvy business owners who want to turn their corporation into an eco-friendly company, without breaking their budgets.

This is a guest post by Jessica Stark from Eat Breathe Blog.  Jessica is interested in social media and environmental issues. She also enjoys learning about technology and loves spending time outdoors.

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Steve holds a degree in Environmental Engineering Technology from Humber College in Toronto, is a LEED Accredited Professional and a Certified Sustainable Building Advisor. He currently lives in Victoria BC and works as a green building consultant specializing in residential projects.


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