A study funded by Google and done by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as well as Northwestern University discovered that moving regularly used software applications that workers normally use to the cloud would save about 23 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity.
This would be enough energy to power all homes, companies, and industrial manufacturers in Los Angeles for one year.
The most common business applications that could be moved to the cloud to make this happen would be email, customer relationship management software and productivity suites.
Email has over 87,000,000 business users, productivity software has 59,000,000 business users and CRM software has 8,000,000 business users.
You have probably heard that data centers use about 1 – 2 % of global electricity use so why would we want to move everything to the cloud to save electricity?
Well the cloud offers significant advantages over storage and processing on local company servers and computers and the typical local data center. A cloud based data center is much different than a normal modern day data center even though if you were to walk into a data center it would look state of the art and quite impressive.
A data center that is made for cloud based operation is done so on order to leverage the equipment in such a way to make it scalable and virtualized in order to reduce the number of servers needed. This cloud based solution drastically reduces the amount of electricity needed.
Among the design considerations of a data center one of the first considerations going into a new data center build is in how to build the infrastructure to use as little energy as possible.
The power utilization effectiveness number of most cloud based data centers is around a PUE of 1.1 which is very efficient all the while giving people access to the applications they need but saving a significant amount of electricity while doing it.
Right now cloud services have not been adopted on a wide scale yet and to see these electricity savings it would need to.
Typical data centers you might find hosting websites and email servers in Dallas and Houston are not considered cloud based data centers.
A true cloud based data center is a huge virtualized scalable structure similar to what Amazon.com, Google.com, Salesforce.com, Twitter.com, IBM, and Microsoft uses and offers significant reductions in the amount of electricity that is used compared to typical local data centers.
What this news simply means for us is that there will likely be a shift in how and how much electricity is used as technology continues to improve and ramp up to a cloud based system.