Cloud Computing could become a powerful ally of the Green Movement
Over the last several years, the push for energy conservation has extended to nearly every area of society and business that you can think of. This drive to produce more energy efficient devices, systems and processes is often a featured aspect of what many have referred to as, “the green movement”. It has been argued by a great number of individuals that pollution, hyperinflation, and dwindling resources are among the most crucial issues that we face today as a global society. Given that IT assets are fast becoming the life blood that drives modern business, and the current model (grid computing / networking) is expensive and inefficient, alternatives must be sought out. This is of course, where cloud computing comes into the picture.
Let’s envision a fairly large company with extensive IT resources, and a network of several hundred user machines. As you are no doubt already aware, most organizations have this type of setup (either on-site or off-site). You’re probably also clued into the fact that it’s common for these “user machines” to stay powered on most of the time, even when no work is being performed. Needless to say, when you have hundreds of machines continuously sucking down power without producing anything of value in return, you are wasting energy. This same line of thinking can perhaps also be applied to how the IT department manages energy efficiency for networking. These systems (networking) might also be utilizing power in wholly inefficient ways that some might even say are counterintuitive.
Cloud computing, an energy and networking solution
Arguably, the most groundbreaking facet of cloud computing in general is the fact that it is not merely a new type of IT infrastructure, computing, or networking; it is all three. In the old model, you absolutely must have separate systems for each individual process. For example, one system is used solely for networking, and does nothing else. On the computing side of things, each individual user terminal, or machine, is entirely dependent on its own internal resources for processing power, storage, and the like. Under the current model, an entire IT / business operation is essentially made up of individual components. What makes cloud computing such a groundbreaking concept is that it effectively combines these areas into one infrastructure.
For instance, in a cloud computing scenario, there are no more grossly overpowered individual machines, operating systems, or storage; these items are all requisitioned facets of “the cloud” now. Try to think of it this way; it’s like removing all the processing and storage components from the hundreds of machines in your office and transferring them to a centralized cloud. This cloud in turn performs just like the internal components of your self-contained machine.
Why cloud computing is considered to be energy efficient
Simply put, cloud computing could also be called “remote computing”. Cloud systems basically use networking to deliver computing resources to its users. As previously stated, this is in essence, merely the combining of resources into one entity. This not only affords us the opportunity to manage energy efficiency more effectively, it also gives users the opportunity to requisition more resources (like processing power) as needed. All individual machines / terminals can be setup to simply turn off when inactive for a length of time. However, the real reason that cloud computing is more efficient than its grid counterpart has to do with the way the energy is used centrally.
If you can imagine all computing resources being resigned to one central location, and then in turn distributed to individual nodes, it’s not hard to see how more efficient distribution is achieved; but what about servicing it? This is yet another one of the great facets of cloud computing, its ability increase the effectiveness of IT. Because cloud computing is so highly centralized, there is no need for IT personnel to make constant trips around their company to deal with issues. This is because all the individual “systems” or “machines” are virtualized; now IT workers can basically do their job without having to leave their department.
All of the aforementioned items make cloud computing the ideal candidate for those organizations who are looking to both upgrade their technology, abilities, assets, and perhaps even become aligned with the green movement. The theory and application of cloud technology has been proven to be useful and highly efficient, all that’s left if implementation.
The solution for your organization
Having said that, the biggest stumbling block facing the green cloud movement is a lack of knowledge and/or experience in cloud computing itself. That’s right; the only thing standing between increased technological potential and significantly reduced energy expenditures is perhaps a lack of qualified personnel. Luckily, this is easily remedied with cloud computing training and certification.
Not only are most e-learning programs for cloud computing certification affordable, they’re also one of the easier ways to familiarize an entire IT team with cloud technologies (as quickly as possible). Additionally, these programs are often designed by true experts in the field who really know how to teach the subject matter in order to facilitate true comprehension. A great number of businesses these days are increasingly turning toward various cloud computing foundation programs (which teach the basic fundamentals). If that’s not incentive enough to jump on the cloud bandwagon, you should also know that there are deep discounts available for group licenses (group rate discounts).