Green Cloud computing

by Bernard T
Cloud computing has seen a rise in popularity since its inception and is becoming a popular alternative to traditional computing. As cloud computing becomes more widely used the question of how these computing resources are maintained are starting to be on the minds of the people using them. The article I read discuss the issues that relate to balancing energy consumption between those who offer cloud computing services and those who use them. It focused mainly on three cloud services; storage as a service, processing as a service and software as a service for both private and public clouds. The article examines each of these services closely and gives the reader an insight into what it takes to run computing services in the cloud, particularly the energy consumption that occurs during to transport of the data. They approached this question as a “classical supply chain logistic problem, which considers the energy consumption or cost of processing, storing, and transporting physical items” but in place of physical items they use bits of data. Each particular service went through intensive and elaborate testing each with its own customized formula that measured energy consumption from the user, transport medium and the cloud. For example, they measured the energy consumption of a “storage as a service” from a cloud by users at the rate one download an hour for a set amount of time and saw that energy consumption of transport dominated total power consumption. There were many such tests which showed energy usage between the cloud and user computers which makes you realize that there are other mitigating factors that should be considered when it comes to measuring total energy consumption (not just from the servers and users).
We are living in a time of global warming, over consumption and pollution, it is more important now than ever to be “green”. I believe that knowing about what goes into using these new technologies, like energy consumption from both the cloud, the end users and everything in between is very important especially during these times we live. Before this article I never considered the energy consumption of data transport and I am glad I am now aware of it. The author’s of the article did this study because they wanted to know the contribution to totalĀ  power consumption when performing cloud computing. They came to the conclusion that transport of data was a significant portion of total power consumption for cloud services at medium to high usage traffic. Overall, they concluded that using cloud storage services are more energy efficient than storing locally on hard disks drives when files are occasionally accessed by a few users. Consequently, as the number of users who access the cloud increase so does the power consumption of transport to the point where energy savings is minimal, which means that even though the users might be using less power at their end, cloud computing as a whole is not always the greenest option because of the total energy needed to transport data from the cloud to its users.

 

References

Baliga, J., Ayre, R. W., Hinton, K., & Tucker, R. S. (2011). Green Cloud Computing: Balancing Energy in Processing, Storage, and Transport. Cloud Computing and Energy Transport, 1(1), 19.

1 thought on “Green Cloud computing”

  1. Very nice article. I too had never really thought of energy that can be consumed when data is being transferred. I also agree that cloud computing can reduce energy from a Users perspective but I never thought about the actual energy that can be used by the company that is providing the cloud computing service. It does make sense that the more a user will use a cloud computing service the more energy a cloud computing provider will need to transfer its data to there customer. Now all we need is to find a way to reduce the energy used by the provider of the cloud computing service as a whole. That would be nice to see.

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