Thursday, May 15, 2008

Green Computing in the cloud

I haven't had much of a chance to blog this week, I've been busy traveling first to San Antonio and now Halifax, Nova Scotia. I wanted to take a brief moment to discuss some of the more interesting ideas I've had the opportunity to discuss this week.

In particular "Green Cloud" computing; while meeting with a major hosting firm I had the opportunity to have an adjacent conversation, in it we discussed the huge potential of providing and consuming green electricity. In their case by installing an array of solar panels on the top of their newly built and massive data center complex. According to one of their chief data center architects this type of self created green power could account for as much as 1 megawatt of electricity, which would offset a significant portion of their current power needs. What's more, this could potentially be sold back to the grid during off peak times, like 3am, providing yet another potential avenue for revenue.

Of course this usage of green power probably has less to do with a new found environmental consciousness and more to do with the bottom line. But it did get me thinking, would you choose a "Green Cloud" over a lower cost but less environmentally friendly cloud? And if so, what kind of green tax would you prepared to accommodate? Personally, I think I would be prepared to accept a 5% increase, so long as the SLA's and QoS are there also.

I've also been thinking about creating a "Green Computing" API, (the ability to adjust power levels on the fly programmatically) but I'll leave that for another day.

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