A lot of people are focusing on the security issues of cloud computing that’s why they fail to see the probable energy savings it offers. Companies go to the clouds because they want to increase profits by lowering their expenses. However, they fail to see that cloud computing has environmental benefits also. In fact, cloud computing services do help in reducing carbon emissions and energy uses. Google had released a report that when a company switches to Google Apps and other online productivity tools, it stands to reduce its energy usage by as much as 85%.
Now, Google has proof that cloud computing does provide energy and money savings to government agencies and companies. It has recently published a whitepaper which documents the savings the US General Services Administration achieved when it switched to Google Apps. The US GSA switched to Gmail in 2011. At that time, the government agency expects to save as much as $3 million on their email operating expenses. When the organization switched to Google Apps, it further expects savings on its energy costs. With more than 17,000 GSA users around the country, Google has enough data to monitor GSA’s energy usage prior to using and after using Google Apps.
The US General Services Administration had 324 servers before using Google Apps. When it switched to Google Apps, the government agency is now maintaining 61 servers only. Because of the reduction in the number of servers, GSA’s total direct power requirement has been reduced to 22 kW from 163 kW. Its yearly energy consumption per user has also been reduced to 20 kWh/user from 175 kWh/user. Because of this huge reduction in energy consumption, GSA is currently saving as much as 93% because it has reduced its energy cost from $307,000 yearly to $22,400. It has also contributed in reducing carbon emissions because the organization has reduced its carbon emissions by 85%.
According to Google, when a company migrates to Google Apps, it stands to reduce direct energy consumption from its servers by as much as 90% while cooling costs can be reduced by as much as 90% also. Overall, Google claims that switching to the clouds can provide energy savings by as much as 87%. The cost and energy savings are brought about by the reduction of servers a company really needs. Google can efficiently use their servers because it can aggregate demand from various customer base and that it can optimize software and systems energy efficiency.