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☁️ Cloud services more sustainable than local servers new report shows

☁️ Cloud services more sustainable than local servers new report shows

European companies can become significantly more sustainable by closing their data centers and moving applications to public cloud services instead. This according to a new report by 451 Research.

Magnus Aschan
Magnus Aschan
Presented by Amazon Web Services

By migrating applications to the public cloud, European companies can dramatically reduce their carbon dioxide emissions and energy use claims IT analyst house 451 Research in a new report.

The report shows that energy use can be reduced by almost 80 percent and carbon dioxide emissions by 96 percent by moving applications that are currently run locally on-premise to public cloud data centers located in the EU, which are powered by renewable energy.

451 Research report shows that energy use can be reduced by about 80 percent and carbon dioxide emissions by 96 percent by moving applications currently run on-premise to public cloud data centers.

Higher energy optimization in large data centers

The report, which Amazon Web Services, AWS, commissioned, is based on surveys and interviews with 308 companies in six countries, including France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, and Sweden.

Significant energy savings can be made by placing operations in data centers with significantly higher energy optimization, such as large public data centers.

"Cloud providers use server systems with great attention to power optimisation, integrating the very latest components. These servers run at higher utilisation levels, leveraging the cloud providers' ability to share and dynamically allocate resources among multiple customers," writes 451 Research in the report Saving energy in Europe by using Amazon Web Services.

Data centers powered by renewable energy

The result becomes even more apparent, claims 451 Research, when public cloud providers rely on renewable power sources to run their facilities.

"All of this translates into considerably less energy used to perform the same unit of work – such as processing financial transactions, running business operations, executing online orders, enabling government services or serving web pages – than would be required at a typical enterprise or government facility," the report added.

At this point, the report found that cloud servers are about three times more energy efficient compared to their own operations for a typical European company.

“We were struck by how much opportunity there is for European businesses to increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions by looking at their IT infrastructure” - Kelly Morgan, 451 Research

"We were struck by how much opportunity there is for European businesses to increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions by looking at their IT infrastructure. If you think of the electricity consumed and emissions produced by tens of thousands of companies across Europe operating their own datacentres, this is an area that appears to be overlooked," says Kelly Morgan, research director covering datacentre infrastructure and services at 451 Research to Computer Weekly.

According to the report, Swedish companies and public enterprises are estimated to reduce their IT-related energy consumption by 80 percent by moving IT operations to the cloud.

AWS aims for 100 percent renewable by 2025

Chris Wellise, head of sustainability at AWS, believes that the report highlights the potential for companies to reduce costs, reduce their carbon dioxide emissions and become more energy efficient by moving more of their digital workload to the cloud.

He also highlights the work that AWS is doing to ensure that their data centers are operated in an environmentally friendly way, in addition to its commitment to ensuring that all AWS facilities will be powered by renewable sources by 2025.

Through Corporate Power Purchase Agreement or PPAs, cloud providers such as AWS can create opportunities for new renewable energy production within the electricity networks where they operate and thereby reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. Amazon's purchase of renewable energy has added capacity for renewable energy production, such as wind farms and solar energy projects, in Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The company believes that this will provide gigawatts of renewable energy.

Do you want to know more? Peter DeSantis, Senior Vice President, AWS Utility Computing, talks more about how AWS optimizes its cloud infrastructure at AWS re: Invent.

Some key figures from the report:

  • Swedish companies and public enterprises are estimated to be able to reduce their IT-related energy consumption by 80 percent by moving IT operations to the cloud. One example is Scania, which started a project with AWS in the summer of 2021 to reduce its emissions and build more sustainable IT.
  • Energy consumption from hardware decreases by 67 percent and from buildings by 15 percent.
  • This corresponds to emissions of 54 metric tonnes of CO2 per year.
  • In other European countries, the benefits would be even more significant due to the relatively good renewable energy supply in Sweden. AWS' goal is for all data centers globally to be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2025.

Read the full report.

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