Data Centers, The Cloud and Carbon emissions – what is the relationship?

Simply put, the Cloud is a collection of Servers in a data center. All data centers use a large amount of energy because the servers need to remain at an ideal temperature and need electricity to run. Despite the great advances seen in today’s world, most data centers still run on fossil fuels like coal and natural gas – which together provides nearly three-quarters of U.S. power.

IT-related services now account for 2% of all global carbon emissions, according to a new Greenpeace report.That’s roughly the same as the aviation sector. Unless something is done to green the cloud, we can expect those emissions to grow rapidly—the number of people online is expected to grow by 60% over the next five years. The amount of data we’ll be using will almost certainly increase too. Analysts project that data use will triple between 2012 and 2017 to an astounding 121 exabytes, or about 121 billion gigabytes.

Now while cloud computing is far more Eco-friendly than maintaining personal servers, it is not truly helping the environment until the cloud hosting services are running on green servers with heating and cooling done by natural means. Companies like EcoCloud360 Inc use completely sustainable clouds and provide a great alternative to traditional cloud services.

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