column | Is Cloud Computing Really Green? Is it sustainable?

It is questionable whether cloud computing is a sustainable technology from the point of view of companies looking to score ESG management scores with environmentally friendly technologies. Is Cloud Computing Really Green?

The problem with cloud computing is that each deployment is different and a mix of technologies. The total carbon footprint is based on a complex set of factors that determine how much power is needed. The answer to the question of ‘Is the cloud a sustainable technology’ can only be ‘from time to time’.

Every hyperscaler today is busy touting how green and low-carbon their cloud is. Not all lies, of course, commendable. However, if you look at the eco-friendliness of a specific cloud deployment by a specific company, you can’t help but say, “Oh, this sector is green, but that sector isn’t.” Because it is distribution dependent.

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Although it has been a topic previously covered, green technology is still a very hot topic. The media frequently asks companies, and companies also ask a lot of questions to their consultants.

The argument I hold on to is that ‘public clouds are much greener than traditional computational approaches’. However, from a company-by-company point of view, it may not be an eco-friendly technology depending on the specific usage of cloud computing.

Sorry for the cold water, but sustainability is a deployment-specific issue no matter how the media or cloud vendors try to wrap it up. In fact, similar claims have been made recently.

Overall Cloud Architecture Efficiency :
As we’ve covered in the past, it’s the architecture that makes cloud deployments really green, if the problem can be solved with much less technology. Interestingly, in many cases, even if a public cloud vendor is very green, if the cloud deployment design is flawed, it will emit significantly more carbon than a fully-optimized architecture in an older data center.

This issue needs to be discussed further. However, it is a very important determinant of whether a cloud deployment is green. The point is that deploying an environmentally friendly but non-optimized solution is far worse than deploying an optimized solution.

The location where the cloud users are located: Of course, it would be beneficial if the data center of the cloud company we contract with is powered by wind or solar power. However, depending on the geographic location of the company, cloud services, applications, and data may use older thermal power plant-based data centers rather than those green data centers. Still, whether you can call yourself a green company while continuing to use that cloud provider will depend on how you deploy your cloud solution.

Deploy power optimization applications : The continuous testing of DevOps to verify the security, performance, and stability of applications is well known. The same automated test method can be used for power consumption criteria. The same goes for coding and deploying applications that use minimal power for compute and storage operations.

There are not many developers showing interest in eco-friendliness and automation yet. In a situation where performance, security, and reliability must be prioritized, it might be overkill to call for power efficiency testing and coding to support sustainability. However, even the smallest improvement in power optimization can be of great benefit.

Power-optimized applications and data storage systems can significantly reduce power consumption and reduce cloud usage costs. Optimized workloads will eliminate the need to allocate large amounts of cloud resources, reduce power consumption on physical servers, and reduce usage-based charges. It’s much more useful than hardware in a traditional data center. If the power-optimized application is based on a low-resource design, the cycle time for new hardware purchases is also increased.

In fact, there is nothing surprising about it. People like simple messages that are always right for any premise. Cloud computing is a complex of complex and distributed systems, and defining the many well-known benefits is by no means straightforward. In order to answer the right questions, sustainability is a necessary topic, so many complex concepts will need to be considered. Unfortunately, it is a problem that needs to be addressed.
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Source: ITWorld Korea by

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