“Greening” your computing equipment is a low-risk way for your business to not only help the environment but also reduce costs. It’s also one of the largest growing trends in business today.
Providing compute and storage on demand and reducing costs are not the only benefits of cloud computing. Moving to the cloud can also can also reduce the carbon footprint of an enterprise, according to a report released by Microsoft in November of 2010. By shifting computing operations to the cloud, organizations can reduce their carbon emissions by 30 percent, according to a study that is the basis of the report. Commissioned by Microsoft, the study was performed by IT outsourcing firm Accenture and WSP Environment & Energy, an environmental consulting organization.
One might argue it states the obvious, but the study is based on what Microsoft describes as a lifecycle analysis that calculates the environmental impact of IT products or services throughout the span of their implementations.
Another study conducted by WSP Environmental Consultants states, “businesses that choose to run applications in the cloud can reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by 30 percent or more versus running those same applications on their own IT infrastructure.”
The benefits are stretched even further when talking about businesses with less than 100 employees. The study sites four principle factors accounting for this reduction in energy:
• Dynamic Provisioning: Reducing wasted computing resources through better matching of server capacity with actual demand.
• Multi-Tenancy: This means that all users access the same software and hardware infrastructure minimizing wasted resources.
• Server Utilization: Operating servers at higher utilization rates.
• Data Center Efficiency: Utilizing advanced data center infrastructure designs that reduce power loss through improved cooling, power conditioning, etc
Enterprises that run Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Services, including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Dynamics CRM online, can reduce emissions by 30 percent compared to running the same applications in house. For smaller organizations with 100 users, making the move can reduce emissions by more than 90 percent, the study concluded. For mid-sized organization with approximately 1,000 users, the range is between 60 and 90 percent, according to the report.
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