Crunching data on the growing trend of hybrid clouds, a new forecast by IDC suggests that as more businesses switch to cloud computing the effort could help prevent the emission of over one billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) just in the next few years.
The survey comes in the backdrop of concerted efforts by data centers, notorious for their negative impact on the environment, to offset their carbon footprint and lower emissions.
"The idea of 'green IT' has been around now for years, but the direct impact of hyperscale computing can have on CO2 emissions is getting increased notice from customers, regulators, and investors and it's starting to factor into buying decisions," said Cushing Anderson, program vice president at IDC.
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IDCs projections are based on several factors including their data on server distribution and cloud and on-premises software use. They’ve also pooled in third-party data on datacenter power usage, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per kilowatt-hour, and emission comparisons of cloud and non-cloud datacenters.
IDC reasons that it is the “greater efficiency of aggregated compute resources” that help cloud datacenters reduce CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the data centers are good at efficiently managing power, and optimizing cooling, while leveraging the most power-efficient servers, and ensuring high server utilization rates, which together help reduce their emissions.
At the same time, IDC argues that the magnitude of savings will vary based on the degree to which a kilowatt of power generates CO2, which varies geographically. This is why migrating to the cloud datacenters will be more beneficial for countries that have higher values of CO2 emitted per kilowatt-hour.
“The Asia/Pacific region, which utilizes coal for much of its power generation, is expected to account for more than half the CO2 emissions savings over the next four years. Meanwhile EMEA will deliver about 10% of the savings, largely due to its use of power sources with lower CO2 emissions per kilowatt-hour,” projects IDC.
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