Shared cloud reduces energy & carbon emissions: Microsoft, Accenture and WSP Study

by CXOtoday Staff    Nov 12, 2010

cloud computingBusinesses that choose to run applications in the cloud can reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by 30 percent or more versus running those same applications on their own infrastructure. These findings, from a study commissioned by Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and conducted by Accenture (NYSE:ACN) and WSP Environment & Energy, demonstrate cloud computing’s potential to operate business applications efficiently.

Large datacenters, like those run by Microsoft, benefit from economies of scale and operational efficiencies beyond what corporate IT departments can achieve. Benefits become even more significant for a small business moving to the cloud, where the net energy and carbon savings can be more than 90 percent, stated the study.

The study results focused on three widely deployed and commonly used Microsoft applications for e-mail, content sharing and customer relationship management. While the findings represent an illustrative case for selected Microsoft applications, it is likely that similar advantages can be observed across many applications and cloud service providers.

The study assessed the carbon footprint of server, networking and storage infrastructure for three different deployment sizes (100, 1,000 and 10,000 users), finding that the smaller the organization, the larger the benefit of switching to the cloud. When small organizations (100 users) move to the cloud, the effective carbon footprint reduction could be up to a 90 percent savings by using a shared cloud environment instead of their own local servers. For large corporations, the savings are typically 30 percent or more in energy consumption and carbon emissions using cloud applications.