Click here to close now.



Welcome!

Apache Authors: William Schmarzo, Christopher Harrold, Elizabeth White, Talend Inc., Adrian Bridgwater

Blog Feed Post

The Secret of the Cloud

The Cloud is Powering Data Center Energy Over Consumption

We need to get something off our chest, proverbially speaking. We are a Cloud hosting provider. We provide Windows Cloud, Linux Cloud and Cloud Apps on Demand to the market. This is not what we want to use this space for. It’s true, brand blog writing should cover and represent the brand in which the blog is being written however we are also people with real thoughts, needs, ideas. For the longest time we have watched as the Cloud market tumbled on through building greater and vaster solutions utilizing the ICT (Information Communications Technology) market. We have watched as the ICT Market (Mobile Device Market) has grown hand in hand with Cloud computing solutions. We have watched as application culture has taken over the mobile world. We have watched as Cloud based services have become more ubiquitous and cheaper to utilize for both consumers and businesses.

On the same accord, we have watched as the Cloud and ICT markets have built themselves upon a dark secret, one which no one cares to talk about. That secret is the impact of data centers on our global energy addiction.

Making Physical Connections to the Cloud

By its name, the Cloud misleads consumers as to what it actually is. We have heard the story before: the Cloud is phrase created by marketers to sell product. As with most things marketing, the name is misleading to those in the know and purposely misleading to those not in the know. A common issue with understanding how the Cloud actually works comes in the form of consumers understanding how the technology impacts them in their personal lives and not understanding how it impacts them outside of their personal lives. On the personal level, the Cloud has been marketed as a technology which eliminates the need for local storage devices. It has been marketed as the death of vast hard drives and 1TB external hard drives. The reason behind this marketing is simple: for a low monthly price, consumers can store their data in the Cloud without having to worry about backing it up locally. No more worrying about backing up files and no more need to purchase local storage devices. The marketing sells safe, simple and cheap. This said, the marketing behind the Cloud has caused a major disconnect as to how the technology actually works.

When it comes to understanding how the Cloud works outside of a consumers personal life, marketing has eliminated the need for critical thought and understanding. Due to marketing efforts, most consumers believe physical computing resources, space and hardware have been eliminated from the equation. As noted by Randall H. Victora, Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Minnesota:

“When somebody says, ‘I’m going to store something in the cloud, we don’t need disk drives anymore’ — the cloud is disk drives. We get them one way or another. We just don’t know it.”

That quote, taken from an excellent article by James Glanz of The New York Times titled, “Power, Pollution and the Internet” (9.22.12), highlights the major disconnect between consumers and the infrastructure of the Cloud. Most people don’t realize that storing something in the Cloud means storing that data in a physical server located in a factory sized data center which maintains 99.9999% uptime – often to the detriment of the data center provider and the consumer.

Data Center Energy Consumption & Mobile Cloud Applications

Mobile Market and the Cloud

Before we can get into the physical requirements needed to run a data center, err, Cloud solutions, we need to first understand how we came to this place in time. The demand for Cloud based solutions has grown out of a global demand for around the clock applications and programs which, on an instant’s notice, can preform as you wish it to. A good example of this is a consumer accessing their Facebook profile at 3 AM. The demand for 24/7/365 solutions has lock step, hand in hand grown with our addiction to mobile products. With nearly 800 million Android devices and roughly 200 million iOS devices floating around the globe, our mobile addiction is based on constant connection and powerful applications. This combination: Constant around the clock connection and powerful applications (the ICT Market) has given rise to factory sized data centers hidden away from the world.

For those of who don’t know, a data center is a large room or few hundred thousand square foot facility which houses 24/7/365 in operation servers. Servers (i.e. computers without the keyboard or monitor) run around the clock because the market demands it. It has to be noted, Solar VPS supplies our consumers with 100% uptime data centers. We too, operate around the clock. Yet the truth is, when it comes to ’round the clock operation of business critical servers, those servers A) eat up a ton of energy and B) need a ton of industrial strength cooling (which also eats up a ton of electricity) to stay in operation. Moreover, to protect against natural disasters or normal power outages, both cooling and power within data centers operate on a redundant backup plan. This is to say, if the initial power or cooling system fails, an auxiliary system kicks in to maintain solution uptime. As you might imagine, this eats a ton of energy. Point in case, from the aforementioned New York Times article:

A yearlong examination by The New York Times has revealed that this foundation of the information industry is sharply at odds with its image of sleek efficiency and environmental friendliness.
Most data centers, by design, consume vast amounts of energy in an incongruously wasteful manner, interviews and documents show. Online companies typically run their facilities at maximum capacity around the clock, whatever the demand. As a result, data centers can waste 90 percent or more of the electricity they pull off the grid, The Times found.
To guard against a power failure, they further rely on banks of generators that emit diesel exhaust. The pollution from data centers has increasingly been cited by the authorities for violating clean air regulations, documents show. In Silicon Valley, many data centers appear on the state government’s Toxic Air Contaminant Inventory, a roster of the area’s top stationary diesel polluters.
Worldwide, the digital warehouses use about 30 billion watts of electricity, roughly equivalent to the output of 30 nuclear power plants, according to estimates industry experts compiled for The Times. Data centers in the United States account for one-quarter to one-third of that load, the estimates show.
“It’s staggering for most people, even people in the industry, to understand the numbers, the sheer size of these systems,” said Peter Gross, who helped design hundreds of data centers. “A single data center can take more power than a medium-size town.”
Energy efficiency varies widely from company to company. But at the request of The Times, the consulting firm McKinsey & Company analyzed energy use by data centers and found that, on average, they were using only 6 percent to 12 percent of the electricity powering their servers to perform computations. The rest was essentially used to keep servers idling and ready in case of a surge in activity that could slow or crash their operations.

As noted, most data centers run around the clock so we can enjoy instant access to applications and data even when the need for round the clock instant access isn’t there. We are our own problem. We have created our own mess and we are only accelerating it.

The Fix

The fix to the solution is ourselves. While data center providers can install cleaner running power and cooling technologies (among other techs), the fix is with ourselves. Maybe we don’t need to save as many emails as we do. Maybe we don’t need to upload a million photos to Facebook or keep items in Google Drive which we have already forgotten about. The world will continue to rely on Cloud solutions and mobile devices/applications. It is up to us to figure out a way to balance our need with demand and electrical output. We need the Cloud. We also need the environment.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Solar VPS

Solar VPS lives the Parallels "Optimized Computing" vision. It has created a virtual infrastructure from client offerings, data facilities and management offices. Solar VPS works very closely with Parallels to provide the highest possible service and support to customers.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Apixio Inc. has raised $19.3 million in Series D venture capital funding led by SSM Partners with participation from First Analysis, Bain Capital Ventures and Apixio’s largest angel investor. Apixio will dedicate the proceeds toward advancing and scaling products powered by its cognitive computing platform, further enabling insights for optimal patient care. The Series D funding comes as Apixio experiences strong momentum and increasing demand for its HCC Profiler solution, which mines unstruc...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
Presidio has received the 2015 EMC Partner Services Quality Award from EMC Corporation for achieving outstanding service excellence and customer satisfaction as measured by the EMC Partner Services Quality (PSQ) program. Presidio was also honored as the 2015 EMC Americas Marketing Excellence Partner of the Year and 2015 Mid-Market East Partner of the Year. The EMC PSQ program is a project-specific survey program designed for partners with Service Partner designations to solicit customer feedbac...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change t...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...