July 16, 2013 1 Comment
Cloud computing offers an amazing amount of energy saving, below I will describe the reasons why.
Office 365 and the Microsoft Cloud infrastructure offers effectively ‘collaborative computing’, Microsoft has invested billions of dollars in their datacenter infrastructures from which they lease this as a service (IaaS, SaaS, PaaS). The requirements for companies of all sizes to purchase, maintain and refresh their own infrastructures moves the financial aspect from a capital expense to an operational expense. This switch to operational expense allows companies to focus on innovation rather than maintain and administer. For a growing business this is ideal as a extremely well planned infrastructure refresh may still not last the porjected timescale due to unprecedented growth or infrastructure no longer able to cope with improving resources, drastically reducing the life-span of the expense. With Cloud computing , and in this case Office 365, the idea of ‘leasing of’ or ‘subscribing to’ a service allows businesses to concern on the operational costs and maintenance without having to plan for major upgrades and changing the way the company moulds around these new upgrades.
Adding new users?
Simply purchase an additional subscription.
Require more file storage?
Purchase additional cloud storage (without worrying about the infrastructure requirements that you would find with on-site equipment)
In the energy efficiency scenario, Microsoft are effectively paying the bill when it comes to their hosted cloud infrastructure. Servers consume a huge amount of power, along with the disaster recover equipment this can amount to a massive expense for any company, by moving to the cloud you can increase your power savings in terms of ‘green motives’ or simply the cost of energy.
Microsoft have greatly invested in their datacenters and with that utilise cutting-edge technology with regards to power consumption and green initiatives. At this kind of scale (1000’s of servers/hosts) Microsoft are able to utilise extremely advanced technologies, I will try to give you a good example of this below;
Imagine at 5:30pm, users are logging off their PC’s, laptops and are shutting down their machines, the server room however doesn’t have this advantage of being turned off, they need 24/7 power and no doubt a backup routine is deployed during the evenings. No shut down or home time for the servers, so they are sat there churning away, perhaps a little less ‘stress’ than during the day.
With the cloud computing scenario, time and power savings mean everything, in these huge scales, running hardly used servers is effectively throwing money away as well as annoying the environmentalists. In this scenario resource scheduling becomes amazingly effective. so we go back to our 5:30pm shutdown, but on this occassion the technology hosting the Virtual infrastructure kicks in, instead of sitting there half used, it will begin to migrate VM’s that no longer require resources to the same host, so although as a whole they may be using quite a lot of resource, it will enable hosts to be powered down and be sat in a ‘power saving’ state awaiting resources requirements to increase and as such power up from their slumber. Again, getting to the scale of this, you could effectively save power on as an example, 100 hosts – these hosts being the beefiest and most cutting edge servers available, are going to have requirements for a large amount of power, effectively turning these off when not used, is a god send to the idea of cloud computing. Why leave the light on in the attic if you have no intention of going there?
So that is effectively how these datacentres work from a green perspective, but from the company utilising this infrastructure, what do they save?
- Downsize or offset office space.
- Downsize onsite infrastructure requirements.
- Expand the ability for users to work remotely (or globally dependent on your requirements)
- Support the mobile workforce.
- Reduce consumables use (printing, ink, paper, file storage costs).
- Reduce hardware (desktop computers/server systems/UPS’s/cabling)
- Beyond Cloud Computing: Mobile Communications, Applications, Content, and Commerce in the Cloud (sacbee.com)
- The Next-Generation Computing- Our Future In The Cloud (laptopsplaza.com)
- SaaS Sees Fastest Growth In Cloud Computing (misco.co.uk)