Again, Google is not the first cloud vendor to roll out research on the benefits of cloud computing. A couple years back, NetSuite released a third-party study concluding that "the aggregate reduction in electricity used by NetSuite and its customers is approximately 595 million kWh per year." The study was fuzzy on details, such as direct comparisons between organizations hosting their ERP or CRM in house versus going with NetSuite.
Microsoft, meanwhile, released a third-party study last November that supported Google's findings, though the report measured CO2-equivalent emissions, not kWh. The report said that small organizations (100 users) that move from on-premise software to cloud-based alternatives can cut their CO2 emissions by more than 90 percent. Midsize companies (around 1,000 users) can slash emissions by 60 to 90 percent. Finally, large companies with around 10,000 users can reduce emissions by 30 to 60 percent.
There are certainly caveats to the assessment that "cloud computing is green," as there are plenty of factors to consider. For example, two data centers with the same PUE might have different-sized carbon footprints because one uses dirty energy (such as coal), whereas the other uses clean sources. Also, a large enterprise may well manage its data centers as efficiently as the Googles, Facebooks, and Microsofts of the world.
This story, "Google makes a green case for the cloud," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.