Is Cloud Computing green?

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Cloud computing – from storage to entirely working online with a number of applications, such as Google Docs, etc – is being touted as a very green and environmentally friendly way of computing.

As someone who is a bit computer and Internet savvy I am no fan of “the cloud” and that for more than one reason, with security being one of them.

I am also not at all convinced that this is a greener way than, say, a 4TB mini-rack on my desk.

Yes, I am fully aware of the fact that I cannot have that with me while traveling and using my netbook on he go, but – seriously – do I really need to be able to access all my stored data while away from the office and home? Personally, I do not think so.

Cloud computing is just a hype and not just in the field of green IT; it is a hype per se.

They want to sell us storage telling us that it is going to be so much safer than us having it in house, and that it will save in this and in that, etc. but my concern is twofold at least and one is that the energy stuff is, alas, not correct, as such data centers take a huge amount of energy to maintain and the other aspect is the security aspect.

The biggest problem to me is the security and privacy aspect if I would think of using the cloud for storage and computing, aside from the environmental impact.

How can all those data centers that are needed to power the “cloud” be greener than small racks that are powered with 12V DC?

I am no technician working on such levels and neither an economist but, as far as I am concerned, I cannot see that there will be any savings if we all head for the cloud, bar, maybe, that organizations can save money as far as staffing costs for IT departments are concerned, as this could lead to a reduction in staff.

Dependent, obviously, on what is to be done in the cloud things may even out but as far as I am see it, at least at present, cloud computing is neither green nor secure.

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