I’ve written a number of posts questioning whether Cloud Computing is Green or Energy Efficient but to be a little more helpful, here is a simple test you can do to see if your Cloud Computing delivered applications are yielding energy efficiency gains for you:
- Have you moved some of your applications to a Cloud provider? – if “Yes” go to step 2 (if no, then cloud is not saving you energy)
- Do you know what the energy consumption* of that application was before moving it to the cloud? – if “Yes”, go on to step 3 (if no, then you have no way to tell if your Cloud solution is saving you energy)
- Do you know the energy consumption of your application after it has moved to the Cloud? – if “Yes” subtract 3 from 2 and if the answer is positive then Cloud is saving you energy (if no, then you have no way to tell if your Cloud solution is saving you energy)
*Obviously, the units of energy consumption in steps 2 and 3 need to be the same for this to work. To make sure they are, try contacting your Cloud provider before moving your applications to the Cloud and asking them what their method for measuring energy consumption is. If they tell you (more than likely they won’t) you can match your measurement units in step 2 to theirs.
Unfortunately, as Cloud Computing providers are, as yet, not publishing energy consumption information, for now, this only works as a thought experiment. However with coming regulatory requirements around reporting of energy consumption, Cloud Providers may be forced to reveal this information.
It is only when Cloud providers detail their energy consumption information that we will be able to say whether Cloud Computing is energy-efficient, or not.
Photo credit kevindooley