Photo of Oracle cloud computing data center by Kevin Krejci
With cloud computing starting to move from fantasy to reality, the question of the day is: How green is your cloud? Far from the children’s book it may sound like, the question addresses energy efficiency at the data centers where more and more of your life sits on servers. Tech companies, notably Google, have proposed some common sense approaches for running the machines efficiently, but the next move may be optimizing the code itself for energy efficiency.
Anytime a company creates an application, it balances competing needs: power and speed, for example. If energy efficiency were added to the list of criteria, IT companies could save money not just running servers but also buying them, because they would need fewer. Microsoft and Intel have developed tools that analyze code for its energy efficiency. Intel’s tool even attaches a dollar sign to its finding, making the incentive for programmers to go green that much stronger.
It’s a great idea, and will probably even lead to lither programs. In the meantime, though, let’s not lose sight of one thing: IT companies, which use a lot of energy, should be on the front lines lobbying for renewable energy standards and helping create the technology that will make it available nationwide. Check out Greenpeace’s latest report card to see how they’re doing.