2010 is to be considered by the ICT sector as the ‘Year of the Cloud’. While this is likely a statment that will be repeated in the years to come, the arrival of the iPad and growth in netbooks and other tablet computers, the launch of Microsoft’s Azure cloud services for business, and the launch of the Google phone and the proliferation of mobile cloud applications are compelling signs of a movement towards cloud-based computing within the business sector and public consciousness in a way never seen before.
The question which arises here is the energy footprint of this trend?
Business and end users will push for raising the ethical and ecological questions :
Key questions for cloud-based computing data centre investment
- How big is the cloud in electricity consumption and GHG emissions and how big will it become?
- Where will the cloud be built and what sources of energy will be powering it?
- How may large data centres impact the surrounding load centre’s demand for fossil fuels?
- To what extent will efficiency and design improvements reduce the rate of growth?