Henry Brown

Additional information and commentary from gigaom.com

Cloud computing saves energy, and here’s the data to show it
Moving companies’ software — for things like email, CRM, word processing and spreadsheets — into the cloud could save enough energy every year to power L.A. for a year. That’s according to a new report out Tuesday morning by Berkeley Lab and funded by Google.

To address the many nuances involved with cloud computing-driven efficiency, alongside the Berkeley Lab report the researchers created a new publicly available model that anyone can use to examine the energy and carbon emissions impact of various scenarios for cloud computing. IT managers can input data about their company’s IT services, data center type, region, and type of servers, and see how much energy would be saved by putting email, CRM or productivity software into the cloud instead of hosting it themselves.


Additional commentary from Scientific Computing

“We can’t fly by the seat of our pants when it comes to assessing sustainability. We need numbers — hard data — to properly analyze how cloud computing compares to how computing is done now,” said Northwestern’s Eric Masanet, lead author of the report. “Well-thought-out analysis is especially important with new technology, which can have unforeseen effects. Our public model allows us to look forward and make informed decisions. What we found overall is that by hosting services on the cloud as opposed to locally, the savings are pretty robust.”