Going Green: The Eco-Friendly Aspect of Cloud Computing

Going Green: The Eco-Friendly Aspect of Cloud Computing

When MSPs list the benefits of cloud computing to their clients, there's one that probably doesn't get the attention it deserves: the eco-friendly aspect of the cloud.

There’s a lot of discussion these days on the benefits of the cloud. It’s known for saving organizations – large and small – a great deal of time, money and headache. What may not come to mind immediately are the environmental benefits of cloud based computing. “Going Green” and reducing the corporate carbon footprint have also been fairly recent trends among companies. Not only is it a way for businesses to make drastic changes in the preservation of our planet; it’s a good way for them to improve their public image.

As an MSP, you may not have initially considered your services to be “environmentally friendly.” Well, according to this article from Sustainablebrands.com, you might want to reconsider that idea. I wanted to share a few of the environmental benefits they outline in the piece, with some additional commentary as to how they relate to your business. Let’s take a look:

“Fewer machines — In many small business and corporate environments, server utilization rates hover around 5 or 10 percent. This means that you need more servers to get the same amount of work done. With the cloud, utilization rates are typically 60-70 percent — shared data centers can employ fewer machines to get an equivalent capacity.”

It is pretty easy to see, fewer machines equals fewer dollars spent. Servers can be extremely expensive to purchase and maintain, and with such a low utilization rate, enormous amounts of cash are flying out the window. Data loads vary, but you must have enough servers to handle the peak times. The rest of the time these extra machines are sitting idly.

“Consolidated climate control costs — In order for a server to run at peak performance, its temperature and humidity level must be carefully controlled. Cloud providers can take advantage of efficient layouts such as rack-first that are hard for in-house centers to replicate.”

This makes the cloud servers more eco-friendly, and eliminates the cost from your company altogether. If you don’t have a large amount of servers that you need to carefully control the climate for, you don’t need to pay to carefully control the climate. This can lead to huge savings on energy bills.

“Efficient equipment — Larger data centers often have the resources to allow them to upgrade to energy-saving equipment and building systems. This is usually not possible in smaller organizations where this efficiency is not the focus.”

This allows your cloud computing to be more energy efficient (and therefor you more green!) while also saving everyone money in the long run. More efficient equipment will lead to lower costs, so whether it is in house, or via a cloud service, lower costs are a very good thing.

Of course some cloud services will be greener than others. If it is your priority make sure you do your investigating to find out which service will be best for you from an eco-point of view. Often times moving to green or more eco-friendly procedures means an increase in cost for a company. However, with cloud base computing, it’s likely your transition will keep more money in your pockets AND do a world of good towards helping the planet. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Has your company investigated cloud services in relation to becoming more “green”? Please share in the comments section below.

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