One of the most potent buzzwords for IT this decade is the cloud. Cloud-based and distributed computing are said to make our information technology infrastructure faster and more efficient, as well as safeguarding our data from loss, which are all incredibly important for data-driven businesses.
But the data centers and networks that drive cloud-based solutions can also be very energy-intensive (and often powered by so-called dirty energy, such as coal), so they aren’t necessarily as green as we might like to believe.
A new patent from IBM, however, may give companies a greener cloud option.
The so-called “green button” could allow companies to distribute cloud service workloads to either low-powered or under-utilized systems, in order to minimize the environmental footprint associated with those services.
“Our patent lets companies route their requests to under-utilized servers or datacenters, or even to servers or datacenters powered by alternative energy sources. The idea is that if companies want to reduce their environmental impact, they could sign up for this option through their cloud provider.
The cloud provider’s online set up wizard that walks IT administrators through questions such as how much capacity and bandwidth is needed, would also have an “environmentally friendly” option. The cloud service requests or deployments would then be flagged, indicating these services should be done with the lowest environmental impact available across the datacenter. ” – IBM Smarter Planet
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