Cloud computing is secure, simple, keeps you productive and saves you money. But the cloud can also save energy. A recent report by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and Verdantix estimates that “cloud computing has the potential to reduce global carbon emissions by millions of metric tons.:
David Jacobowitz, Google’s Program Manager, Green Engineering and Operation in a September 7 blog post says that to check Gmail’s energy efficiency they have :compared Gmail to the traditional enterprise email solutions (Gmail has replaced over 4 million businesses), and the results revealed that “switching to Gmail can be almost 80 times more energy efficient (see 1st embed below) than running in-house email”.”
He said this is because “cloud-based services are typically housed in highly efficient data centers that operate at higher server utilization rates and use hardware and software that’s built specifically for the services they provide–conditions that small businesses are rarely able to create on their own.”
“It takes more energy to send a message in a bottle than it does to use Gmail for a year, as long as you count (2nd embed below) the energy used to make the bottle and the wine you drank,” said Jacobowitz.
He further said that the company has ran a similar calculation for YouTube and the results are: the “servers needed to play one minute of YouTube consume about 0.0002 kWh of energy.” To put that in perspective, “it takes about eight seconds for the human body to burn off that same amount,” said Jacobowitz. You’d have to watch YouTube for three straight days for our servers to consume the amount of energy required to manufacture, package and ship a single DVD.
Google Green Computing Efficiency paper:
American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) Working Paper No. 09: