Cloud computing requires many data centers to be up and running to provide the seamless connectivity and access to data on an ongoing basis. Cloud providers aim to operate efficiently and utilize data centers in an optimized manner. Power consumption for these data centers is a primary carbon footprint for these cloud providers. Some providers strive to use carbon-free power sources, in their attempt to go green, but this may not be always feasible. And they pass on these benefits to end users by offering them a choice of running their cloud operations from carbon-free data centers.
As an end user of this technology, there are also means to improve data center energy efficiency by employing better consolidation and virtualization techniques. Poor server utilization is one of the largest chunks of power wastage in data centers. Virtualization of servers can increase overall utilization from anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent, depending on the managing system. Consolidation and virtualization can reclaim considerable amount of Rackspace and stranded power.
On demand scaling of resources is one of the biggest advantages of the cloud. During the peak loads, this allows for a smooth functioning of the application and business continuity. But, matching server capacity to real-time load can help to reduce server power consumption by almost 40%. There are various methods wherein a managed data center provider can activate or deactivate servers on a predetermined schedule or triggered by certain events. This will help to match the capacity to real time load. This will help to bring in greater savings and in turn increase the efficiency of your cloud setup.
Multiple data centers help in load balancing and shifting power requirements to those regions which are most stable and least expensive. This builds strategic advantage and can result in considerable saving too.
Optimizing on data center efficiency will help to minimize running expenses and also capital. To enable a continuous monitoring and management of data centers, it requires a consistent and pervasive effort by a team which works in conjunction with the business needs. An understanding of power consumption along with results gained through deep analysis of application monitoring and resource utilization studies is essential to bring in business continuity alongside building a green IT infrastructure setup.
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