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Cirrus Stratus says Google's energy footprint is only one part of a positive picture for cloud computing

(PresseBox) (London, ) Recent reports that Google has revealed its massive cloud computing energy footprint - which is notable for the potential size of the IT service giant's energy bill - miss the point that cloud computing offers businesses, and squeezed public sector organisations, not just a number of key advantages over conventional data centres and allied IT storage platforms, says Costas Galonis, Chief Technology Officer of Cirrus Stratus, but a fundamentally greener, planet-friendly agenda.

For starters, says Galonis - there are healthy savings to be made in terms of direct costs, as well as energy, since Google is effectively operating its own private cloud, running key aspects of its IT systems on a carefully planned and centralised basis.

"The sheer scale of Google - which hit a million servers back in 2007 and is currently fêted for processing around 24 petabytes of data every single day - is beyond most IT manager's comprehension, as it is mine, but the reality for Google and any organisation that uses cloud computing resources is that it saves both money and reduces that organisation's energy footprint," he said.

"We now know that Google used 2.6 million megawatt-hours of electricity last year, but we also know that the IT services giant ensures its IT operations use as little energy as possible - around half that of a typical data centre. But media reports on these statistics miss the other key advantage that the cloud brings to the better business table: systems resilience," he added.

Galonis went on to say that, with a million-plus servers dotted around the world, Google clearly load balances and mirrors its data to acculturate its IT resources to the fact that hard drives will fail in the longer term, no matter how carefully controlled its cloud data centres are. But this is what all Cloud providers do. Today's Cloud providers use servers which have no moving parts - no fans and no old-fashioned hard discs to go wrong. They are power efficient and don't get red hot. They don't have to be housed in air-conditioned luxury anymore and the only people who are yet to realise it are those paying the bills.

And, he explained, the fact that Cloud suppliers many services only rarely have an outage is testament to the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to maintain the IT service infrastructure.

In many ways, said Galonis, Google's behind-the-scenes IT systems management mirrors the operations of the increasing number of companies that make extensive use of cloud resources - and in doing so, cut the cost of their IT operations and their energy footprint into the bargain.

"These organisations also have the advantage - as our customers do - that if any aspect of their local IT resource fails, for any reason, they can turn to the disaster recovery and business continuity services now available," he said.

"With other welcome advantages such as the ability to test patches and software upgrades in a virtual cloud environment - before unleashing them on to their valuable local IT systems - it's no wonder that more and more organisations are following Google's lead and tapping the power of the cloud for the valuable additional IT resources it offers," he added.

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