The amount of data on the planet is growing at a very fast pace. According to research carried out by IDC , we will generate around 44 zettabytes (or 44 trillion gigabytes) by 2020. But despite this drastic growth, caused by the increasing use of the internet and IoT (Internet of Things) by the world's population, Electricity consumption by Data Centers will drop significantly in the coming years.

This is what a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, located in the United States, points out. According to him, cloud computing will be largely responsible for reducing the demand for electricity , along with virtualization technologies and new data center management practices. Next, you will discover how the cloud manages to reduce the use of electricity in Data Centers. Check out:

The history of electricity demand

To draw up the report on electricity consumption by Data Centers, researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory were based on a series of studies carried out since 2000, as well as on the most current consumption forecasts and on the new technological trends that have emerged in recent years. According to the report, electricity consumption by data centers increased by 90% between 2000 and 2005.

Between 2005 and 2010, demand grew by 24%. And from 2010 to 2014, only 4%. In 2014, US Data Centers consumed 70 billion kWh (Kilowatt hours), which represents 1.8% of the total electricity consumption in that country. The researchers expect energy use to increase by 4% between 2014 and 2020 – the same percentage seen in the last five years, despite the increasing demand for computing resources.

The role of the cloud in this consumption reduction

Between 2000 and 2005, US server sales increased by 15% each year. Between 2005 and 2010, annual sales dropped to 5%. This percentage has dropped to 3% in recent years, and should remain at this rate until 2020. The server market is suffering from this reduction in sales due to the increasing adoption of cloud computing by private companies and public agencies.

When migrating to the public cloud, companies stop using physical servers, which consume a lot of energy due to the need for cooling. They also now have the flexibility and efficiency provided by cloud computing, which allows them to obtain greater computing power. But this without having to invest in expanding its IT infrastructure and increasing electricity consumption.

Trends for the coming years

The use of cloud computing, along with the adoption of sustainable practices in data centers, resulted in a relatively stable consumption of electrical energy in the last five years. For researchers, this consumption will not grow so much until the end of the decade. For them, energy efficiency technologies and strategies may even reduce the consumption of 73 billion kWh projected for 2020.

If implemented correctly, both cloud computing and sustainable practices will save data centers 33 billion kWh. This economy is beneficial not only for the environment, but also for the companies' businesses. The greener they are, the lower their operating costs, and the better their reputation in today's competitive marketplace.

And is your company already reducing the consumption of electricity by migrating to the cloud?[:]

Written by

Sky.One Team

This content was produced by SkyOne's team of cloud and digital transformation experts.