Green Cloud Computing – The Sustainable Way to Use the Cloud
The growing demand for cloud infrastructure has led to a dramatic increase in energy consumption. This desire for power has significantly contributed to the environment’s carbon footprint. The ever increasing demand for energy is primarily due to the exponential growth of data centers with thousands of servers and other infrastructures.
Energy-efficient solutions are necessary to minimize the impact of cloud computing on the environment. Green cloud computing, also known as green information technology, is a potential solution to aide in the reduction of energy consumption.
Green cloud computing is the study of designing, producing and using digital devices in a way that reduces their impact on the environment. Not only can these solutions save energy but can also reduce operational costs.
“The cloud is for everyone. The cloud is a democracy.” – Marc Benioff, CEO – Salesforce.com.
What is Green cloud computing?
Green cloud computing involves designing, producing, and using digital spaces in a manner to reduce its impact on the environment. A green cloud solution can not only save energy but significantly reduce enterprise operational costs.
Green cloud computing allows users to utilize the benefits of cloud storage while decreasing its adverse effects on the environment, ultimately affecting human well-being. It includes the following practices:
What is Green cloud?
Green cloud is a buzzword that refers to the potential environmental benefits that information technology (IT) services delivered over the Internet can offer society. The term combines the words green — meaning environmentally friendly — and cloud, the traditional symbol for the Internet and the shortened name for a type of service delivery model known as cloud computing.
Cloud computing has become an essential infrastructural demand for a modern organization for several reasons covering scalability, security, and cost-effectiveness features. However, this ever-growing demand has also resulted in elevated energy consumption levels, which has ultimately bolded the environment’s carbon footprint. As more and more data centers are added to the organizational realms, they’ll require thousands of servers and other necessary materials to enable its full-fledged operation.
What is Green Computing?
Green Computing is the term used to donate efficient use of resources in computing. It is also known as Green IT. Green Computing is “Where organizations adopt a policy of ensuring that the setup and operations of Information Technology produces the minimal carbon footprint”. Green Cloud is “the study and practice of designing, manufacturing, using and disposing of computers, servers and associated subsystems .
Key issues are energy efficiency in computing and promoting environmentally friendly computer technologies.
What is Green data center?
A green data center, or sustainable data center, is a service facility which utilizes energy-efficient technologies. They do not contain obsolete systems (such as inactive or underused servers), and take advantage of newer, more efficient technologies. Green data centers used advanced technologies for data storage, management, and operations on the data.
Goals of Green Computing:
The goals of green computing are similar to green chemistry; reduce the use of hazardous materials, maximize energy efficiency during the product’s lifetime, and promote the recyclability or biodegradability of defunct products and factory waste. Research continues into key areas such as making the use of computers as energy-efficient as possible, and designing algorithms and systems for efficiency-related computer technologies.
There are several approaches to green computing, namely
- Product longetivity
- Algorithmic efficiency
- Resource allocation
- Power management etc.
The Benefits of Going Green
Green cloud computing is a solution that allows users to utilize all the benefits of cloud storage while also decreasing its adverse effects. The ultimate goal of green cloud computing is to reduce the power consumption of large data centers (Amazon, Google, eBay, etc.).
Green cloud computing aims to include energy-efficient technology, environmentally sustainable production practices and improved waste and recycling procedures.
- Green Design: Designing energy-efficient servers, infrastructure, computers, software applications and other digital devices will reduce the amount of energy consumed in the future
- Green Production: Minimizing energy and waste by recycling and repurposing equipment during the production process of digital devices can contribute to a more sustainable environment.
- Green Usage: Reducing the amount of energy a product utilizes while in use can reduce up to 27% of energy.
Aside from large corporations and large data centers reducing their waste, the average computer user can also implement green practices into their data usage.
- Using sleep mode while away from your computer for an extended amount of time
- Turn off computers at the end of the day
- Consider refurbishing electronic devices rather than buying new ones
- Recycle electronic waste products
Techniques to Make the Cloud “Green”
Three techniques could revolutionize the future of green cloud computing:
- Nano Data Centers: Newly developed computing platform which uses internet service providers (ISP) controlled home gateways to offer computing and storage services. Nano Data Centers are more energy-efficient than conventional data centers. They help reduce the cost of heat dissipation, they have high service proximity, and have the capacity for self-adaptation or self-scalability.
- Dynamic Voltage Frequency Scaling: A method that reduces the power and energy consumption processes used with frequency scaling. Implementing this technique will reduce energy consumption and leverage the utilization of the resource.
- Virtualization: A technique that improves machine management and energy efficiency through sharing a single physical instance of a resource/application with multiple customers or organizations at the same time. Virtualization maximizes the number of available system resources in an eco-friendly way. It enables better monitoring and management of the resource allocation, and it aids the server group in maximizing their ability to share resources.
Going Green Is Not a New Concept
Though individuals are aware of their carbon footprint now more than ever, reducing energy is not a new concept.
The roots of these concepts can be traced back to 1992 when the United States Environmental Protection Agency launched a program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – Energy Star. This program was designed to identify and promote products that followed energy-efficient guidelines.
The first products that were labeled with Energy Star were computers. This program led to the implementation of sleep mode in electronic devices. Though this concept was developed almost 30 years ago, it is still essential in reducing energy today.
Cloud computing is a highly effective infrastructure for many businesses. However, the growing demand in energy consumption is not only costly but harmful to the environment. Energy-efficient solutions, such as green cloud computing, are essential to reduce the earth’s carbon footprint and lead to an overall greener environment.