Normally when we talk about the potential savings associated with moving your files to the cloud, we are referring to the actual cost of storing and protecting that unstructured data. But another value is often overlooked in the comparisons between traditional storage and cloud storage. By switching from depending on your own physical data centers to those of the large public clouds, you are actually embracing sustainability, becoming a green IT leader and saving your company money in a variety of ways.
To understand how cloud-integrated storage drives sustainability, you have to consider the clouds themselves. Even though the providers hide their exact locations, they are still physical data centers. But because they are so massive, the cloud storage providers are incentivized to be as efficient as possible. To put it simply, they need to be green or they’d be too expensive to run. That’s one of the reasons the providers build their enormous data centers near cheap sources of renewable power like hydroelectric dams.
This is only one aspect of the focus on sustainability. Leading cloud storage providers like Microsoft, Amazon and Google are constantly innovating within these data centers to further improve efficiency. They are doing everything from overturning the myth that a heavily air-conditioned environment is a necessity to finding new ways to optimize the computing load of each server. (Underutilized hardware can still be power hungry, so these optimization efforts are another way of curbing electricity consumption.) The results are phenomenal. Google says its facilities use half as much energy as the average data center, and the company has been employing machine learning techniques to continue optimizing energy use.
The standard independent enterprise is never going to be able to keep pace with that kind of data center innovation. The cloud storage providers are well aware of this advantage, and they use it as one of their selling points. For example, Microsoft released the results of a study on whether cloud or on-premises storage is more environmentally friendly. They found that switching to cloud reduced the carbon footprint per user by 30% at large companies, and by nearly 90% at smaller organizations.
Adopting Cloud-integrated Storage
But here is the good news: When your organization adopts cloud-integrated storage through a public cloud storage provider, you automatically incorporate all these green initiatives. Once you move files out of your data center(s) and into the cloud, the sustainability breakthroughs at the major cloud storage providers effectively become your breakthroughs. The huge expansion in capacity also allows you to consolidate your facilities from multiple data centers to one… or even none. With cloud-integrated storage, the number of companies that need to maintain their own physical data centers is dropping dramatically. But that is a story for another day. Until then, find out more about how you can take advantage of cloud-integrated storage by watching this quick video.
The landscape of cloud-integrated storage solutions is becoming increasingly crowded, making it harder for businesses to determine which one meets their specific needs. Download this white paper to see how different cloud-integrated storage solutions match up to your needs.