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Sanjit Mohanty
Sanjit Mohanty

Posted on

Cloud computing & Global Warming - The untold story!

Cloud computing is the buzzword in the industry & its not new but been around for quite good amount of time by now!

Reason for its widespread adoption is its value proposition that it offers through a promise for -

  1. Extra capacity
  2. Resilience, and
  3. More efficient use of storage and processing power

So, by switching to cloud computing we are making more efficient usage of resources available to us!

However, is there a hidden cost behind this lucrative offer? Well, yes & its our very own environment paying the price for it.

Consider any computing device right from your laptop that you use everyday or the super computers β€” all such devices being electronic in nature requires electricity and upon prolong usage generates considerable heat!

Hence to beat this heat, most of the PCs are installed with a coolant unit (fan).

The bigger & busier the computer, the bigger the coolant & therefore more is the power that it needs. In a typical datacenter, instead of installing such individual fans for each computing device, the temperatures are typically controlled via central air conditioning devices.

With the every growing web & the cloud, the demands placed upon it, means such cloud computing hubs are actually a gigantic consumer of electricity!

Consider some of the hard facts from various sources -

  1. The energy consumption of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is increasing by 9% every year.

  2. In 2019, according to KTH (The Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden), the internet was consuming 10% of the world’s electricity β€” an increase of 4% on 2016, reflecting the rapid growth of the network and the demands placed upon it.

  3. According to a report by AFP news agency, watching a 30-minute video on Netflix, Prime, and other platforms usually release 1.6 kg of carbon dioxide or a 6 km drive emit the same amount of CO2.

The digital transition as it is currently implemented participates to global warming more than it helps preventing it. If there is a right time to act on it, then it is right NOW!!!

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