& 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
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.
The iPhone maker is looking for a wireless engineer who can develop hardware using emerging technologies.
Welcome one and all to our new 5G site!
Koontech intros the fire- and bomb-proof phone.
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
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
Cisco's Innovations in Cable

5|26|16   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Marc Aldrich from Cisco discusses the latest in security, the evolution and momentum for CCAP and what the industry will be seeing next from Cisco.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
DT: Telcos Must Escape Vendor Prison
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/24/2016
AT&T to Start 5G 'Friendly' Trial by 2016 End
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2016
WiCipedia: Short Skirts & Back-Up Plans
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 5/20/2016
Eurobites: Be More European, EU Tells Streaming Services
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/20/2016
Cable Is Eyeing Its Retail Options
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
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.