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September 2012 Volume 15

How green is cloud computing? It's time for CIOs to ask

Just how green is cloud computing? Is cloud computing more or less energy-consuming compared with the typical local data center a company owns and operates for its own use? How about compared with a co-location facility, sited for maximum energy efficiency? Or in contrast to a managed hosting data center, where the average power usage effectiveness, or PUE, is an ideal 1.0? What's the green differential in buying services from a bevy of cloud computing providers versus consolidating the enterprise's servers and applications in a private cloud maintained behind the corporate firewall? Linda Tucci Most CIOs can't answer these questions because the energy efficiency of cloud is not their problem but the cloud owner's problem. That kind of punting may be a lost opportunity for CIOs wishing to make the case that cloud computing is in the plus column for green. Until now, CIOs have turned to cloud computing providers to save time to market, to avoid costly upfront capital investments in infrastructure, for cloud computing's ...

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