& cplSiteName &

The Hungry, Hungry Cloud

Dan Jones
4/22/2014
50%
50%

Here's a startling statistic: If all the cloud computing services in the world were an actual country, that nation would be the about the sixth-largest electric power consumer in the world.

NPR reports that researchers at Greenpeace place the cloud right after Germany and before Russia.

That staggering volume of power consumption is driven by the massive data centers that store data around the world, allowing users to pull up documents and apps anywhere. The New York Times reported that in 2012 the cloud consumed 30 billion watts of power, as much as is produced by 30 nuclear power stations.

This has already led to some drastic measures by big data center users. Facebook has located a data center just outside the Arctic Circle to take advantage of the naturally cooling temperatures. Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) now powers its cloud with a mix of solar, hydro-electric and wind-generated electricity.

The trend towards more distributed data centers might make it easier to co-locate the storage end of the data center with solar power set-ups, wind farms and hydro-electric power plants. The front-end servers and a fast connection would be in urban areas, while the storage would be in rural areas where it easier to find and fund a power source. (See Reliance Rebrands With Its Head in the Cloud.)

Nonethless, it's worth asking just how we'll keep powering the cloud as it continues to get bigger.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

(33)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 4   >   >>
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/24/2014 | 9:38:17 AM
Re: Big v small
Yes -- we need to pursue all available options to keep up with our insatiable energy requirements while trying to keep the planet habitable.
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/24/2014 | 9:31:03 AM
Re: Big v small
And Dennis I would add we need to keep up with technology.

Let me give you an example:  http://engineering.osu.edu/news/2013/06/ohio-state-pushes-clean-coal-technology-ahead

This could make coal of all things one of the best sources of clean energy that we have.  I think assuming that technology won't change all of this is bad.  If I use nuclear as an example, I lived in South Florida for about 15 years.  Turkey Point Nuclear Plant took nearly a direct hit from Hurricane Andrew and was just fine.  The Japanese plants got hit with their issues and that was a problem.

seven
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/24/2014 | 8:49:21 AM
Re: Big v small
We've lived with nuclear power for more than a half-century now. Without it, our world would not be what it is, for good and bad. We are now 99.8% dependent on electric power to function as a society. So we're kind of stuck with it.
noLandMan
50%
50%
noLandMan,
User Rank: Lightning
4/24/2014 | 6:15:10 AM
Re: Big v small
I was with you all the way... until you brought up nuclear...

Let's keep that one out until someone figures out how to neutralize nuclear waste... you really don't want to leave in a 2mile radius from a nuclear plant, and you don't want a nuclear waste facility in your backyard either, so what would you do? 
noLandMan
50%
50%
noLandMan,
User Rank: Lightning
4/24/2014 | 6:08:47 AM
Re: Big v small
This has always been my concern about outsourcing Power Consumption and Carbon Footprint along with it. Once the enterprise relies on the outsourced data center, the power consumption goes to the cloud service provider, and so does the CFP. Same happens when you promote other interesting green initiatives such as Working from Home. The CFP is transfered to the employee who has to get power/cooling/heating under their roof to work, along with the extra networking needs (which also require power) to get vpn'd to work.

Question is, does the cloud need to be the giant we're building today, or can we live with less?
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Light Beer
4/22/2014 | 9:57:27 PM
Re: Big v small
The sad part about it is, that when we see it as problematic, that's when people tend to do nothing, and see it as a potential solution.
smkinoshita
50%
50%
smkinoshita,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/22/2014 | 8:33:09 PM
Re: Big v small
@mendyk:  Yes, it's relatively small area overall -- and I imagine the management and politics involved would probably keep it from being efficient for awhile unless everyone got on board.  One or two parking lots wouldn't amount to much -- but it could be a different story entirely if all the lots or entire stretches of highways had solar panels overhead.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/22/2014 | 7:44:27 PM
Re: Big v small
Yes -- we need to pursue all these imperfect solutions. To pretend we can rely on the least-objectionable energy sources is, um, problematic.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/22/2014 | 7:42:19 PM
Re: Big v small
The solar farms now being created generally are being built on open land -- as is the case with Apple's two farms in North Carolina. Using barren land like deserts also is happening, and that makes sense. And I also agree that installing panels on developed properties is a good idea -- but that will provide a small percentage of the power we now require.
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/22/2014 | 6:38:57 PM
Re: Big v small
Dennis,

Hydro is considered such an environmental issue that nobody (in the US anyway) is building new Hydro power.  Solar has the capital and space issues.  Wind has space, sightlines, and killing birds issues.  Both wind and solar have storage issues.  Nuclear has waste and other safety concerns.  Fossil fuels have global warming issues.  

And of course costs are not equal between sources:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_electricity_by_source

 

seven

 

 

 
Page 1 / 4   >   >>
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Jonestown
Pokémon Go has taken the US by storm in a week, but it will look quaint in a few years' time as virtual reality games and apps arrive on 5G.
It wasn't much of a contest really!
Researchers at the University of Madison-Wisconson are taking the concept of 5G wearables to the next level.
More than a third of poll respondents think that IoT will kickstart 5G.
Like Apple, Facebook, and Google, Sony is examining the possibilities of 5G too.
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, July 27, 1:00PM EDT
The Changing Face of the Data Center World
Rodney M. Elder, Senior Solutions Architect, Equinix
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, August 3, 1:00PM EDT
The Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center
Guru Parulkar, Executive Director, Open Networking Research Center, Open Networking Lab
Wednesday, August 10, 1:00PM EDT
Telcos & Open Source 101
Phil Robb, Senior Technical Director, OpenDaylight
Friday, August 12, 1:00PM EDT
The Role of Open Source in NFV
Jim Fagan, Director, Cloud Practice, Telstra
in association with:
From The Founder
The more things change, the more they stay the same for Juniper's next-gen comms solutions, and that's a good thing.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation

7|20|16   |   04:53   |   (0) comments


Light Reading Editor Mitch Wagner talks to NetScout CMO Jim McNiel about maximizing the benefits of enterprise cloud and digital transformation while minimizing potential pitfalls with a proper monitoring and instrumentation strategy.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena's VP Offers a Career Crash Course

7|20|16   |   4:14   |   (0) comments


How did Ciena's Vice President of Sales, Angela Finn, carve out her career path? Simple, she tells WiC. She stayed true to her company, customers and principles. She shares her advice for women on how to be authentic and credible, as well as for companies that want to make a real change to their culture and practices.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 2 – Climbing the Virtualization Maturity Curve

7|19|16   |   06:56   |   (0) comments


Many of the initial use case implementations are single-vendor and self-contained. The industry is still climbing the virtualization maturity curve, needing further clarity and stability in the NFV infrastructure (NFVi) and greater availability and choice of virtualized network functions (VNFs). Interoperability between NFVis and VNFs from different vendors ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks' Kumar Mehta on SD-WAN Managed Services

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Versa's Kumar Mehta for an interview focused on why service providers are building SD-WAN managed services, and how Versa's telco customers are innovating.
LRTV Custom TV
Juniper Networks & The Evolution of NFV

7|19|16   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Senior Juniper Networks executives talk to Light Reading Founder & CEO Steve Saunders about NFV developments and the recent independent evaluation by test lab EANTC of Juniper's Cloud CPE solution.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink Goes Beyond Managed WiFi

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


CenturyLink's managed WiFi allows enterprises, such as retailers and resorts, to track guest WiFi usage in order to help them better communicate with customers.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T Launches Network Functions on Demand

7|17|16   |   05:26   |   (0) comments


Roman Pacewicz, Senior Vice President, Offer Management & Service Integration, AT&T Business Solutions, discusses the operator's launch of its Network Functions on Demand service.
LRTV Interviews
Enterprise Pitch for Ciscosson

7|14|16   |   04:43   |   (0) comments


After seven months of near silence, Cisco and Ericsson executives publicly discussed details on their extensive partnership. Among the tidbits shared by Martin Zander, VP, group strategy programs, Ericsson, and Doug Webster, VP service provider marketing, Cisco: The partnership was initially launched to serve the service provider market, but is already gaining ...
Wagner’s Ring
Cisco Faces Up to Hypercloud Threat

7|13|16   |   02:42   |   (0) comments


Facebook, Amazon and Google mostly don't buy branded technology for their networks – they build their own. That's a threat to Cisco – and its competitors too – which face potentially dwindling demand for their product. Is Cisco up to the challenge? Light Reading went to the annual Cisco Live conference to find out.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Connected Russia

7|13|16   |     |   (0) comments


At UBBS World Tour 2016, Alla Shabelnikova of Ovum shares the findings of a white paper outlining the challenges and opportunities of broadband rollout in Russia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Global Video Business

7|13|16   |     |   (0) comments


At UBBS World Tour 2016, Roger Feng of Huawei shares insights on the future of video business.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
UBBS World Tour Moscow Highlights

7|13|16   |     |   (0) comments


At UBBS World Tour 2016 at Moscow, Huawei showcases its outstanding progress in video technology.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
September 27, 2016, Philadelphia, PA
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 6-8, 2016,
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Five of the Top 10 most targeted countries in Check Point Software Technologies' global Malware & Threat Index for Q1 2016 are in Africa.
Hot Topics
SoftBank Muscles In on ARM in $32B Deal
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/18/2016
Ericsson 'Doubles' Savings Goal as Sales Slump
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/19/2016
Kevin Lo's Move to Facebook: Sign of Things to Come?
Patrick Donegan, Chief Analyst, Heavy Reading, 7/20/2016
Verizon's Next With VNFs
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/21/2016
Facebook Gets Its Drone On
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 7/22/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
I've enjoyed interviewing many interesting people since I rejoined Light Reading, but William A. "Bill" Owens certainly takes the biscuit, as we say where I come from.
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.