Showing posts with label Cloud. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cloud. Show all posts

Cloud and The Carbon

The era of transition to cloud computing is at it’s peak. Everything we can think of softwares are gradually moving to cloud for different benefitting reasons comapred to on premise setup whether it can be security, maintenance, cost, availability or scalability. Cloud is now a preffered solution for most organizations. But cloud computing is not actually "Cloud" computing, it’s just connected powerful data centers placed at different geo locations which works together for us to provide lot of cloud services.

Ever thought of impact of these data centers on environment? You will be surprised to know that the carbon footprint of Cloud computing around the globe is higher than airline industry. It is true that unlimited capacity of cloud comes with negative impact on this extraordinary planet.

Let’s try to understand the overall picture.

Why it’s impacting the environment?

Carbon emission due to these data centers is negatively impacting the environment. Increase in Co2 (Carbon Dioxide) can increase overall temprature of planet resulting in global warning and climate change. Which has significant impact on the helth of all creatures that flourish on the planet including humans.

Why data centers create so much carbon?

These data centers contains lot of servers and the computation produces heat similar to your mobile phone or laptop but exponentially way more heat that that. To ensure smooth functioning the air cooling system is installed on these data centers. This air cooling systems which runs 24x7 to ensure ~100% availability are responsible for such high carbon footprint. 

Such powerful data center can consume electricity equivalent of thousands of homes and out of that 40% electricity is used for this air cooling system. Worth to note that these data centers don't directly produce Co2 but the method of electricity production through hydrocarbon fuels produces the Co2.

What are the solutions to this problem?

We are so much relied on Cloud nowadays, usage and consumption is surely going to increase in upcoming years. Many Cloud providers have already started to take steps for sustainable environment by pledging to transition into becoming carbon neutral. However, stringent and transparent agency is required to review and recommend solutions to the cloud providers. 

Interestingly, there is an example of sustainable data center, EcoDataCenter of Sweden which uses free cooling method.