IT not convinced about cloud computing's green credentials

By Tom Jowitt, Techworld |  On-demand Software, environment, Rackspace

IT bosses are not yet convinced over the green benefits from cloud computing, after the third annual 'Green Survey' from Rackspace Hosting found that cost savings and consolidation are driving the green IT agenda at the moment.

The survey polled 150 Rackspace customers worldwide about their environmental strategies, and 54 percent admitted that cloud computing is now part of their overall environmental strategy.

And over 21 percent of IT managers believe that cloud computing is a much greener alternative to traditional computing infrastructures, but it seems that the vast majority still remain to be convinced.

35 percent said they were not convinced on the green benefits of cloud computing, and 25 percent felt that there was too much hype around the green benefits of cloud computing. Meanwhile 19 percent felt that the true green benefits of cloud computing have not yet been realized.

7 percent admitted that cloud computing was critical to their company becoming greener; 14 percent are currently evaluating cloud computing and its environmental benefits; 13 percent have considered the benefits of cloud computing as part of their overall environmental strategy; and 20 percent would be interested in learning more about the green benefits of cloud computing.

But a sizable portion (46 percent) said that cloud computing was not a part of their overall environmental strategy.

Instead they are relying on more traditional green initiatives. 71 percent have undertaken or are focusing on recycling; 31 percent on data centre consolidation; 29 percent on transportation (car pooling and travel restrictions); 10 percent on renewable energy; 10 percent on carbon footprint; and 2 percent on LEED certification.

Only 21 percent have put their green initiatives on hold due to the economic climate. Three quarters have yet to calculate their organisation's carbon footprint, however, and are unsure about how much it would cost to offset their carbon usage.

Like last year, the survey also identified more demand for hosting services, with 31 percent saying they are moving to outsourcing hosting and cloud computing

"This is just the tip of the iceberg, and it is going to accelerate," said Fabio Torlini, marketing director. "The downturn is causing IT to reconsider how to run things more efficiently, and building your own inhouse facility and having the staff to run it, is very very expensive compared to a hosting company. The cloud is an accelerator for that."

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