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Cloud Computing Can Save Enough Energy to Power Los Angeles for a Year

Cloud News Roundup

That's some serious savings, even in a state where just about everything seems to cost just a bit more.

A recent study has found that moving common software applications used by 86 million U.S. workers to the cloud could save enough energy annually to power Los Angeles for a year.

The six-month study was led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and conducted with Northwestern University.

The report looks at three common business applications - email, customer relationship management software, or CRM, and bundled productivity software (spreadsheets, file sharing, word processing). Moving these software applications from local computer systems to centralized cloud services could cut IT energy consumption by up to 87 percent - about 23 billion kilowatt-hours. This is roughly the amount of electricity used each year by all the homes, businesses and industry in Los Angeles, according to an article on DailyFusion.net.

A primary goal of the project was to develop a state-of-the-art model that both researchers and the general public could use to analyze the energy and carbon impacts of cloud computing.

"We can't fly by the seat of our pants when it comes to assessing sustainability. We need numbers - hard data - to properly analyze how cloud computing compares to how computing is done now," said Northwestern's Eric Masanet, lead author of the report. "Well-thought-out analysis is especially important with new technology, which can have unforeseen effects. Our public model allows us to look forward and make informed decisions. What we found overall is that by hosting services on the cloud as opposed to locally, the savings are pretty robust."

SMB Views on Cloud Privacy, Security Vary Widely
Small business that have implemented some form of cloud services have given the technology high marks, while those who have yet to put in place a cloud strategy remain skeptical of the technology.

Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) that use cloud computing say they've seen increased levels of privacy, security and reliability, according to a new survey.

The survey, conducted by independent research company comScore, showed a difference in perception between nonusers of the cloud and experiences of cloud adopters, according to an article on TalkinCloud.com. Along with the study, Microsoft released an updated version of its Cloud Security Readiness Tool (CSRT). The free tool enables organizations to assess the security of their IT environment and compare it to what they could expect if they used a cloud service, according to Microsoft. The updated release extends the range of industry standards covered by the tool to include European Network and Information Security Agency Information Assurance Framework (ENISA IAF) and British Standards Institution (BSI).

SMBs not leveraging the cloud said their top concerns were the following:

  • Sixty percent cited concerns around data security.
  • Forty-five percent worried that using the cloud would result in a lack of control over their data.
  • Forty-two percent doubted the reliability of the cloud.

SMBs that use cloud services expressed a greater comfort level with cloud. The following are some key takeaways from what they said:

  • Ninety-four percent have gained security benefits they did not have with their former on-premises technology, such as up-to-date systems, up-to-date antivirus and spam email management.
  • Sixty-two percent said they have seen increased levels of privacy protection.
  • Seventy-five percent have experienced improved service availability.

Rackspace Open Cloud Academy Graduates Its First Class
Hats off to the first graduating class of Rackspace's Open Cloud Academy.

A total of 17 students recently graduated from the Rackspace Open Cloud Academy in San Antonio, Texas.

Open Cloud Academy provides advanced technology training necessary to become a top entry-level open cloud technologist while offering the IT certifications most in demand by employers. The academy allows students to learn in weeks what it takes others years to master.

The graduates are now certified in A+, Network+, Linux+, Apache, MySQL, Rackspace system administration, Red Hat system administration, cloud basics, and critical thinking. Each graduate put in around 250 training hours while going through the program, according to an article on SiliconHillsNews.com.

Speaking at the ceremony, Rackspace Chairman Graham Weston called the next 100 years the "era of the cloud" and told the graduates that the ability to speak the language of the cloud will be essential.

"What has happened is we've moved from the world of just using computers to what you are learning, which is how the cloud is going to interact with the whole world," said Weston. "Software - fixing it, maintaining it and writing it - are all the building blocks of the next hundred years. In the same way that concrete, steel, shovels and sweat were the building blocks of the last hundred years."

More Stories By Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

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