Just how green is the cloud?

Local governments are under intense pressure to deliver better services for less money – and reduce carbon emissions while they’re at it. The cloud is hyped as part of the solution, but how green is it really?

According to a Pike Research report, conventional modes of hosting servers had associated emissions of approximately 46kg of carbon dioxide every year. Following best practice with a cloud system, on the other hand, could cut emissions to two kg of carbon dioxide per year.

The reasons for this disparity, according to cloud services company Skyscape Cloud Services, are many. In their new white paper, Greening government ICT: How cloud can help (available for download below), sprawling data centres crammed with ever-more-powerful servers emit greenhouse gasses from power use, lose large percentages of their coolant and discharge heat that then affects atmospheric temperatures.

Moving to the cloud not only eliminates these concerns but also reduces packaging resources, shipping-related emissions and operating overheads.

According to Skyscape: “It remains an important consideration for public sector organisations to carefully assess their server requirements and chose an environment that satisfies those but, at the same time, maximises their emission reductions and contributes fully to the wider UK Government ICT strategy.

“Government organisations have been tasked with buying sustainable, efficient products and services. The strategy specifies cloud computing as an example of a technology that’s sustainable and efficient, and is an effective way to share and reuse infrastructure and services.”

Download a free whitepaper to learn more about how cloud technology can help your organisation meet the aims of the Government Digital strategy, the Greening Government: ICT Strategy and the Digital by Default service standard.

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