Don’t be blinded by the cloud’s many virtues

The cloud does a lot for enterprises: It saves them money, provides agility, and even makes for a greener planet.

Cloud computing’s effect on energy usage is good. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the use of cloud services has essentially nullified the growth in energy usage from data centers, reducing the pollution and other environmental costs of our modern digital activities.

This news is no surprise to me. I’ve argued with my green friends that cloud computing ultimately means more efficient use of computing resources, and thus reduced overall usage of energy. They railed for years against the construction of new data centers to support cloud services, but now they can see that building phase was a good thing. We replaced acres of private data centers that really suck up the kilowatts but that were so widely scattered that their impact on energy needs were hidden.

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