Cloud storage can be a green solution

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The cloud has become the go-to data storage solution for businesses that want to reduce costs while improving scalability and flexibility.

Photo: Pixabay/stevep

The cloud has become the go-to data storage solution for businesses that want to reduce costs while improving scalability and flexibility.

In addition to these benefits, cloud storage can also help make businesses greener. A business can reduce the overall amount of energy needed to store data by moving from on-premises to cloud. This helps reduce its carbon footprint and become more sustainable.

There is also evidence that the cloud is likely to become even greener over the next few years, which is important because data storage is not generally considered to require large amounts of energy, but data centers can be extremely energy intensive.

On-premises storage is often less efficient than cloud storage. Company-owned data centers often have much lower utilization than public cloud options because equipment is purchased and provisioned in anticipation of peak usage. Storage and compute capacity should exceed typical on-premises usage requirements.

In contrast, cloud data centers can consolidate equipment and operate servers at high utilization rates, reducing inefficiencies and increasing productivity.

Data centers are becoming more energy efficient across the industry. However, traditional data centers lag behind public options when it comes to improving energy utilization and efficiency. These larger cloud data centers are more efficient and can scale faster than their traditional counterparts.

Average of Standard Data Centers only 2.4 workloads per server disk, which measures the amount of processing performed by a server over a period of time. Their efficiency growth rate is currently around 6.9%. In contrast, cloud data centers have an average of 8.8 workloads per server disk and an efficiency growth rate of 8.5%.

Public cloud data centers are also typically located closer to critical electrical installations. Energy is lost as it travels along lines, so nearby data centers can reduce transmission losses.

Data center growth can drive sustainability

The need for data storage is likely to grow rapidly in the near future, and potentially far beyond the expectations of industry experts. Today, half of all business data worldwide is stored via cloud storage.

As the demand for data storage increases, the associated energy costs also increase. Moving to the cloud could help companies ensure that storage is as energy efficient as possible, reducing the company’s overall carbon footprint and making sustainability goals more attainable.

Cloud storage providers may soon take steps to make cloud storage even more sustainable. Each of the big three cloud providers—Google, Microsoft, and Amazon—has committed to completely decarbonize their data centers.

So far, none have made the leap entirely to renewables, but all three have made major strides in improving energy use efficiency and limiting center emissions. of data. All three companies invest in Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). These RECs are tokens produced when a green energy source like wind or solar generates one megawatt-hour of electricity and sends it to the grid.

These companies are also increasing their direct use of renewable energy. Amazon recently became the world’s number one largest buyer of corporate green energy, displacing Google from the top spot. These three companies are making major investments in environmentally friendly sources around the world, helping to make their cloud data centers more sustainable.

In addition to investments in renewable energy and RECs, these cloud providers are also innovating in data center efficiency.

Google recently used Deepmind AI technology to reduce data center cooling 40% bill. This is often difficult to operate at peak efficiency, as data center equipment, cooling machinery, and the environment can interact with each other in ways that are difficult to predict. AI-based management allows Google to manage its cooling equipment more efficiently.

Cooling is one of the main sources of energy consumption in a data center, so applying artificial intelligence to improve efficiency could significantly improve overall energy efficiency.

Google shares data center performance information with the rest of the industry. The company’s cooling successes could translate into major efficiency gains for the entire industry.

How using the cloud can make storage more sustainable

Cloud storage can help businesses achieve their sustainability goals in addition to providing greater flexibility and scalability. It takes commitment, but many large companies are looking for ways to reduce their energy consumption and invest in green energy. They prove it can be done.

Cloud data centers are often more efficient than traditional options in terms of utilization and energy consumption. Major cloud providers like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are also making significant progress in adopting renewable energy and efficiency innovations.

Moving to the cloud could help businesses ensure storage availability and become more sustainable. Hopefully more companies will follow suit and make cloud storage a viable green option.

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