While I'm not somebody who sells the cloud as green, once all is said and done we'll be doing more with less when using cloud computing, and that includes using less energy. The use of multitenancy and virtualized systems optimize how we use computing resources, which means less power for each unit of work -- to me, that's green. Sorry, Greenpeace. Moreover, the new data centers use power systems and cooling mechanisms that are much more efficient than the ones found in older data centers -- that's green, too. Sorry again, Greenpeace.
Of course, I'm not alone in this thinking. Alex Steffen states, "Sounds scary, right? Except when you actually look up the numbers. ... The global IT industry as a whole generates about 2 percent of global CO2 emissions," a number he cites from the United Kingdom's Times Online. Steffen argues that targeting trendy technologies may pull an audience, but "if Greenpeace really wants to get up in people's grill about something that needs to change, it should start with its cars."
In other words, focus on something else. IT is moving in the right direction here.
This article, "Is cloud computing really killing the planet?," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and follow the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com.