Keeping Clouds Green {2}

by Robert T
In this peer reviewed article titled “Green Cloud Computing: Balancing Energy in Processing, Storage and Transport,” the authors shed light on how difficult it is in today’s era to keep the heavy demand of resources a functioning cloud computing database would require while using as little energy as possible. The increasing attention around the world to emit as little waste into the air as technologically possible has been a primary concern for the companies set to release their highly anticipated cloud computing services. In the article the authors list all the available services that a cloud would provide: storage, software, and processing. The analysis also includes both public and private clouds. According to the mathematical results of the authors, “Transport presents a more significant energy cost in public cloud services than in private cloud services. “Significant energy savings are achieved by using lowend laptops for routine tasks and cloud processing services for computationally intensive tasks, instead of a midrange or high-end PC, provided the number of computationally intensive tasks is small.” Cloud computing does, in fact use more resources. In addition, the authors even mention that the problem should be addressed as a serious supply chain logistics problem. According to the authors, “under some circumstances, cloud computing can consume more energy than
conventional computing where each user performs all
computing on their own PC.”

Microsoft Plans to Reduce Carbon Footprint! {Comments Off on Microsoft Plans to Reduce Carbon Footprint!}

by Joshua L
The article I read for this week was about microsoft’s pledge to reduce their carbon footprint and become carbon neutral starting July 1. The COO of Microsoft said that they are doing this to cut back on emissions and for emissions not eliminated through efficiency measures, Microsoft will purchase renewable energy and carbon offsets. Microsoft is even setting up a system of internal incentives to help drive the Microsoft’s ambitions. read more...

Cloud computing and the environment {1}

by Giselle N
The article I read this week was mainly about the impact of IT on the environment. According to the author, the demands for computing and data storage have increased so much that by the year 2020, the emissions produced by IT may be higher than those used by the airline industry. Right now, most of the IT industry uses client servers, where businesses such as, Microsoft, have workstations with servers and IT staff to run it in order to be able to file share, email, etc…. The environmental problem with client servers is the increasing amounts of power they require. For example, Microsoft has a data center in Chicago that has about 400,000 servers and adds about 40,000 more every month to keep up with its competitors. Imagine how much power is required to run this data center. According to a study, server utilization is only 6 percent on average, which means that the other 94 percent these serves are not being used, but are still using up a lot of power. In fact, 30 percent of the servers around the world are not even being used, but are still on because some businesses do not want to risk anything by shutting them off. However, the author believes cloud computing is the answer. Instead of having hundreds of client servers on the premise of the company, Google uses cloud computing, where email, word documents, etc… can be used through the web.  Cloud computing also includes virtualization, which allows virtual machines to be run on a single physical server, instead of having one server for each task such as and one email server, one file server, and so on. This allows the server to be used to its capacity and not just 6 percent as one server might only be used for. Cloud computing can reduce emissions by reducing the number of servers, by using virtualization and allowing the server to reach its full potential. Still, the real answer to decreasing emissions from IT is for data centers not only to use cloud computing but also renewable sources of energy. The author concludes that this, “will ensure that could computing is, in fact, green computing.” read more...

Cloud Computing: Green or Not? {1}

by Joshua L
The article I chose was a study of whether cloud computing is actually more energy efficient/green than traditional computing practices where each user performs all computing on their own personal computer. The articles went into detail about the circumstances for which cloud computing can be much more efficient than conventional computing because of vast energy savings in transport due to inactivity and low screen refresh rates, but it also considered how cloud computing can actually consume more energy in transport than conventional computing due to high screen refresh rates. The conclusion of the article made it clear that “… the energy consumption of cloud computing needs to be considered as an integrated supply chain logistics problem, in which processing, storage, and transport are all considered together.” read more...

Green Cloud computing {1}

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 total  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. read more...