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Green Computing via Cloud Computing

written by: Lee Clemmer•edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 5/5/2010

Green Computing and Cloud Computing are each some of the cutting edge IT topics today. But how can they work together? This article examines how Cloud Computing can help your company in its goal for Green IT. And a Green IT initiative may be a reason to use Cloud Computing.

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    Introduction

    Green Computing and Cloud Computing are both hot topics these days. What can they do to benefit each other? Let's take a look. As energy costs keep going up, it makes sense for a business to conserve where it can. IT is one department where power consumption is a large budgetary concern. Your business may or may not need the full computing capability of modern servers all the time. Much of the time, those computers would sit there idle, but still consuming power and costing money.

    But there are times when you will need that computing power. You just don't want to have to pay for keeping it in reserve and pay to cool a large server room full of underutilized computers. What to do?

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    Green Clouds

    Here's where cloud computing may be able to save energy and money for your business. In those times when you do need additional computing power, if you have a cloud computing solution set up, you can draw on the additional computing power and resources you need just when you need them. You won't be paying the energy costs for running servers and the associated costs the rest of the time. Cloud resources are in this case a reserve that you can allocate without the need to pay for the resource sitting idle in one fixed location. So you see, cloud computing may allow for you to make your IT infrastructure far more green than it is currently.

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    Next Steps

    I know that this grand idea is far easier for me to outline in an article than it is for you to implement. There are many "what if's" that need to be examined before you move toward a cloud computing solution. For some businesses this may not make sense currently, or ever. Some computing requirements and business processes just don't make sense to try to engineer this way. If your business has infrequent needs for lots of computing power, that's an ideal situation for this sort of solution. As time passes it may make sense for more and more of us to work this way, where computational power is pulled from virtual buckets as it is needed for almost any purpose.