Climate change is an undeniable reality that impacts us all. As more and more companies recognize their role in reducing carbon emissions, they are seeking ways to minimise their environmental footprint. An increasingly popular strategy is migrating the enterprise’s IT infrastructure to the cloud.
In this article, we will discuss how small organisations and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can benefit from cloud migration, and provide an example of the potential cost and carbon dioxide savings for a company with a few mid-range servers in their in-house data centre.
The Case for Cloud Migration
Migrating IT infrastructure to the cloud offers a range of benefits for SMEs, including lower capital expenditures, improved scalability, increased flexibility, and enhanced data security. However, one of the most compelling reasons to make the shift now is the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions. Cloud providers operate at a large scale, allowing them to optimise their energy efficiency and utilise renewable energy sources more effectively.
Why Cloud Migration Reduces Carbon Footprint
1) Energy Efficiency
Cloud data centres are designed to maximise energy efficiency, leveraging advanced cooling technologies, and using artificial intelligence to optimise power usage. This means that cloud providers can achieve a higher level of energy efficiency than most SMEs could achieve with their in-house data centres.
2) Economies of Scale
Cloud providers can take advantage of economies of scale to invest in the latest energy-efficient hardware and server technologies. As a result, they can deploy more energy-efficient infrastructure than SMEs with limited resources.
Moreover, cloud providers like Google Cloud offer datacenter regions with neutral CO2, which means that the energy used to power their datacenters is offset by the purchase of carbon credits. This ensures that the net CO2 emissions are zero. Google Cloud for example also sources its electricity from renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar, and hydroelectric power, which further reduces the environmental impact of cloud computing. [source]
To illustrate the potential savings, let’s consider a hypothetical organisation with two mid-range servers in their in house datacenter. We will focus on the costs and carbon dioxide emissions of maintaining these servers in-house versus migrating to a cloud provider.
- Power supply per server running 24/7: 1 400 W / 33.6 kWh /day
- Annual energy server consumption: 33.6 x 2 x 365 = 24 500 kWh
- Air conditioning (running aprox 4 months / year) 3.5kW x 24 x 120 = 10 800 kWh
- Energy cost per Year: €6328.14 (assuming aprox. €0.1833 /kWh)
- Carbon emissions: 9.5 metric tons of CO2 (assuming 0.275 kg CO2/kWh based on EU average – combined value across all current sources based on EU statistics).
- Another example based on Czech data from ČEZ data or government this factor can vary depending on Energy supplier from 0.29 – 0.319 ) so actual value can vary from 7,5 to 11 metric tons of CO2
Cloud Migration example:
Google Datacenter: selecting low emission europe-west6 / Zurich region
For simplicity of this use case, we have the assumption of the same PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness – we use same value, but it is expected to be much better in cloud datacenter than local server room). Result of migration to the cloud is carbon emission savings (based on 0.086 kg CO2/kWh) aprox. 7 metric tons of CO2.
But what is even better if You care about real values – after migration to the cloud You can check Your carbon footprint online on Your carbon console with mapping to Your projects or use API to get data
By migrating to the cloud, our example SME can potentially save €6 300 in energy costs and reduce its carbon footprint by 7 metric tons of CO2 annually. Or if we need some equivalent to compare based on statistic it is equal to average petrol car producing 6 – 9 tons of CO2 annually
In conclusion, reducing your CO2 footprint and adopting eco-friendly practices through cloud migration is not only beneficial for the environment, but also for your business.
If you’re interested in learning more about how cloud migration can help you minimise your carbon emissions, our team of specialists is here to guide you through the process. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for personalised assistance and expertise tailored to your unique needs. Together, we can create a greener future for your organisation while embracing the power of cloud technology.