Why Cloud is Greener and AWS Cloud is Greenest



You can make an impact on Climate Change, by moving your computing and storage to the Cloud and choosing the most sustainable Cloud services supplier.


Why Cloud is greener than on-prem


In the same way that a few hundred passengers riding a bullet train is more efficient than those individuals using a private car to get to the same destination (even if they are car-pooling) - the same applies to a shared computing service. Per passenger mile, a train always beats a car. Likewise per unit compute or storage cost, using a shared IT resource will beat having your own facilities. Simply because that shared resource is using less power and fewer physical resources, whether that is silicon or steel, air-conditioning or physical building space per unit of compute or storage.


Assessed against a number of factors, which type of computing is:

  • Maximising use of the most efficient CPUs and GPUs and in-memory cache

  • Maximising utilisation of all computing and storage assets

  • Maximising storage densities

  • Minimising cooling energy required per unit of compute

  • Optimising the lifecycle of every chip and every disk


It is self-evident that purchasing compute and storage from a shared pool on an ‘on demand’ basis, is less resource intensive (whatever that resource might be) than owning your own custom setup. Not only is it more efficient - it’s more cost efficient. So it’s good for you and the planet.


Whose Cloud is Greenest?


Given the amount of computing that is still on prem and will eventually move to the Cloud, it is really important that the Cloud computing is delivered as sustainably as possible.


We can assume that you are using your Cloud computing for the common good, and you are definitely not in this league, where all your computing is quite literally coal-driven.

Possibly not quite as bad as these guys.


But some of your computing is going to be coal driven - especially in Australia. It is a fact and a result of our two main political parties kicking climate change policy around like kids in the school yard.


As responsible businesses it is up to us to push the transition - we need to choose suppliers that are committed to a more sustainable future. Amazon as a company has a number of Sustainable Operations initiatives, and are working to reduce their carbon footprint across all business operations seeking to power their operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025. As proof of this, and something most people would not be aware of, AWS are actually sourcing power from Solar and Wind farms, and they have signed the single biggest contract from a private company in Australia for long term solar power.


AWS is taking responsibility for the sustainability of the Cloud.

They have also developed the 6th Pillar (P6) of their Well-Architected Framework.


P6 is about efficiency in the Cloud - overall consuming fewer Cloud resources (and hence energy), and therefore running your Cloud with a lower carbon footprint.


PolarSeven has embraced P6 to help companies use a Well-Architected and Well-Tuned approach to Cloud to reduce their Cloud Computing carbon footprint. You can read more about that in this post: How Green is Your Cloud?


At PolarSeven we believe in walking the talk, and have recently invested in our own solar farm through myGreenerPlanet, an organisation committed to empowering individuals and businesses to have direct involvement in climate action. We have offset the power that we use as an organisation, by generating an equivalent amount of completely renewable energy - CleanGreenEnergy - and our small investment will save over 2.7 tonnes of carbon being emitted over the lifetime of the project.


If you would like to know more how we can help you be more sustainable in the Cloud, book a free consultation or callback, and our cloud professionals can discuss your unique circumstances and offer advice and solutions that will work for you.

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