Wednesday 24 November 2010

The Dirty Brown Cloud

Cloud Computing seems to be a buzz word at the moment, lots of organisations are promoting cloud services such as SaaS (Software as a Service) PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). so what are all these new wonderful services that are lurking in the cloud?
Answer: Nothing you dont already do.

Software as a Service is something like Citrix, the ability to open an internet portal and access a service from a server instead on on your PC, indeed any application that has been "web enabled" will run in the cloud.

Platform as a Service, ah this will be sharepoint or indeed any other collaboration type software where many users can access information over the web (intranet!)

Infrastructure as a Service, hmmm having servers and other storage capability located anywhere except in your own building, think DR!

What are the Green Benefits?

Reduced Electricity? Nope, additional equipment is required to give that 24/7/365 Resilience that many organisations think is the be all and end all of IT, so to provide this additional security cloud data centres need additional UPS's, additional networking and additional back up cooling systems

Reduced Cooling? Nope, as above in order to provide the additional resilence additional equipment is required, this equipment needs to be always on and even at idle will still have an energy overhead.

Reduced Hardware? Nope, in order to provide the resilience required, cloud operators will need to have large amounts of redundant servers and storage literally waiting for an outage at another Data Centre, so that that can move the applications and data across to the standby systems.

Reduced Software? Nope if anything additional software is required to provide security and resilence.

Cloud Services are simply a way for Data Centre operators to use up the spare space in their data centres. The data centres that are expensive to build and operate, especially now that the CRC is a pure carbon tax.

Data Centre operators will also face large carbon tax bills in the future, simply because they are not efficient, even the most green data centre operator in the UK will be charged lots of tax and pay for a lot of electricity and who is going to pay for the increased energy and tax bill?
Look no further that the clients who have adopted cloud services.

Oh and I almost forgot, if we look at the energy generation breakdown in the UK for 2009 (DUKES)

Coal - 28%
Nuclear - 18%
Gas - 45%
Imports - 1%
Renewables - 7%
Other Fuels - 1%

We can see that the UK is dependent on the importation of natural gas (our north sea fields are essentially deplete) and coal.

The cloud is dirty and brown, and in order to become clean and green a whole new way of providing cloud services is required and we are developing a new green cloud approach that we feel will be of benefit to the UK.
Watch this space!

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