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Cloud Expo: Article

How to Save Money While Doing Green IT

Power consumption is a major cost driver for cloud service providers

There have been a flurry of "green cloud" announcements recently, and that got us thinking about the relationship between green IT and saving money. Green is also the color of money, after all, and companies are discovering that reducing data center costs leads to substantial green benefits. The cloud takes cost reduction and green even further.

In the first announcement, IBM continues to innovate in cloud and in green, and it has patented technology for distributing compute workloads for cloud computing in a way that reduces power consumption. I'd liken it to a load balancer, but instead of trying to reduce response times, they're trying to reduce power utilization overall. Now, it's really interesting because this is not just a green initiative but it is also a cost-savings opportunity for cloud service providers.

Power consumption is a major cost driver for cloud service providers. Often, it's pay-as-you go for storage, for compute, even for bandwidth. But no cloud provider is really charging for power utilization. This is a way for cloud service providers to reduce their sunk cost and improve their margins without having to charge the customers more. It's green, but it's also green for your wallet.

Our own experience in running data centers and providing cloud services bears this out. Every time we were greener, it was most of the time because we reduced consumption, and reduced consumption is reduced cost. This set us up for some really interesting conversations with executives because we had a story for each of them. For the chief sustainability officer, the conversations with her were around the carbon reduction. The conversations with the CFO were around the cost reductions. But this is just different ways of looking at the same story-it's both green and cost reduction.

Check out this recent Techviews Unplugged video on YouTube for more on saving money while being green.

More Stories By Jeffrey Abbott

Jeff is part of EMC’s Global Services division, helping customers understand how to identify, and take advantage of, opportunities in Big Data.

Prior to EMC, Jeff helped build and promote a cloud-based ecosystem for CA Technologies that combined an online community, cloud development platform, and e-commerce site for cloud services. Jeff also spent several years within CA’s Thought Leadership group, creating and promoting top-level messaging and social-media programs around major disruptive trends in IT. Prior to this, Jeff spent 3 years at EMC, marketing IT management software products. Jeff’s marketing career also includes time at Citrix, as well as numerous marketing firms – one of which he founded with 2 former colleagues in 1999. Jeff lives in Sudbury, MA, with his wife, 2 boys, and dog. Jeff enjoys skiing, backpacking, photography, and classic cars.

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