& 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   >   >>
More Blogs from Jonestown
The AT&T acquisition seems to suggest that Ma Bell will get deeper into fixed 5G services and more.
There's one important thing still up in the air about 5G.
Motorola CVP says the vendor could get to 5G through Moto Mods modules.
T-Mobile is expecting telecoms acquisitions this year, as the content, cable, Internet and wireless industries collapse in on each other, but the operator said that it can continue to grow alone too.
It's all about the Massive MIMO, folks!
From The Founder
Either we perform a complete 'factory reset' on the way the telecom industry creates and deploys virtualization, or we face the consequences.
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
Infinera Introduces Instant Network

4|20|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mike Capuano, vice president of marketing at Infinera, discusses the advancement from Instant Bandwidth to new Instant Network capabilities, which include Bandwidth License Pools, Moveable Licenses and Automated Capacity Engineering (ACE).
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Vodafone's Eubank on Sponsors, Mentors & Moving On Up

4|19|17   |   4:25   |   (0) comments


Vodafone America's Head of Operations Kimberly Eubank breaks down the difference between a sponsor and a mentor and shares why both made a big difference in her career.
LRTV Custom TV
NYC Auto Show: Are We Smart Yet?

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


The auto industry is facing some big transformations as electric vehicles, autonomous technology and connected cars are seen as the future of the industry. During the much-anticipated NY international auto show, there was an emergence of new technology and mobility service on the show floor. Aside from performance, brands like Lincoln, Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes and ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Impact of Video

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


David Mercer from Strategy Analytics discusses the impact of video on current strategies.
LRTV Custom TV
Pardeep Kohli Discusses Network Transformation & the Market Opportunity for the 'New' Mavenir Systems

4|13|17   |     |   (0) comments


In a brief discussion at MWC 2017, Heavy Reading analyst Adi Kishore talks to Pardeep Kohli, CEO, Mavenir Systems about the creation of the 'new Mavenir' and some of the key challenges facing operators in today's market. A key theme of the discussion centers around operator need for software-only, virtualized solutions and how they will need to adapt to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Tech Maverick Shares Her Tips for Gender Inclusivity

4|12|17   |   7:28   |   (0) comments


Wendy Hall Bohling, a corporate escapee, author and gender exclusivity consultant, tells her story of sexism, bias and progress along the road to gender equality in the workforce.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at MWC 2017

4|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Mobile World Congress 2017, the biggest mobile industry gathering of the year, Huawei showcased its new innovations and solutions with the theme "Open Road," which focuses on cloud, 5G, operation transformation, videos and consumer-oriented products. Its campaign has been recognized by three awards given by GSMA.
LRTV Custom TV
China Telecom NFV Infrastructure on RSD

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Lynn Comp, senior director of market development of Intel, is joined by Chong Zhang, storage engineer at Inspur and Ou Li Yan, architect for technology strategies of China Telecom on what NFV brings.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's IMPACT Software Demo

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Khamis Abulgubein of IoT market development at Nokia demonstrates IMPACT (intelligent management platform for all connected things), a software solution with a horizontal approach to managing any device on any application.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia Introduces Virtual Service Router for More Rapid Service

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


James Cumming, product line manager for virtualized service routers at Nokia, demonstrates how the virtual router based off the Nokia ecosystem changes the network function experience.
LRTV Custom TV
The Keys to SD-WAN Success

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Versa Networks CEO Kelly Ahuja talks about the key requirements for service provider-managed SD-WANs.
LRTV Custom TV
Intel & Cisco on Joint 5G Solutions

4|5|17   |     |   (0) comments


Dave Ward, SVP and CTO of Cisco, is joined by Sandra Rivera, corporate VP and general manager of network platforms group of Intel, on the revolutionary 5G technology that changes networking and computing fundamentally.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Brazos Hall - Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Time for a Telecom Reboot
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 4/19/2017
Comcast Ready for Clash With Hulu
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/18/2017
Unlicensed: It's What's Next for US Mobile Operators
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/19/2017
Verizon's Fiber Spend Won't End With Corning
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/19/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Animals with Phones
Now That's an Ad Campaign Click Here
Meerkats to the rescue!
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.