Science

The democratization of the cloud is causing energy consumption to explode

More and more of us are turning to the cloud to back up our data. There was a time when the external hard drive was a must, but the cloud has many more advantages. However, this type of storage is undeniably energy intensive, and even more so than one might imagine.

Data center services dedicated to the cloud, where all data is stored, consumed 42% more in the space of 8 years (from 2010 to 2018). We are more and more careful and prefer more and more cloud storage to archive our documents, photos and videos. So why is the cloud a more interesting storage system? And why is its energy consumption so important and potentially problematic? The answers to these questions can be found here.

Why take cloud storage?

You may be wondering what is the point of storing your documents in a cloud when there are a thousand and one other ways to do it. The hard drive or the USB key for example. Find out why it is easier and more secure to store your data in the cloud.

More convenience and additional security

Are you a fan of the old ways and categorically refuse to go through the cloud? Let us explain why you might need to change your method. The cloud is a safe place where you can store documents, photos and videos. There are a large number of them, the best known remain those of Google and Apple. You can usually deposit a certain amount of data for free, but you will have to pay after a while if you reach the maximum free storage. If you want free cloud storage, know that SFR, for example, offers between 10 and 100 GB in its internet box offers (if you are interested, you can compare the SFR boxes on this internet box comparator).

The main advantage is that you store your data in an intangible place. By choosing a hard drive as your storage medium, you run the risk of breaking or losing it. Thus, all your data would be lost permanently. No risk with the cloud: everything is kept electronically. It is all the easier as everything can be found from any device at any time thanks to a simple connection. Moreover, even well-known software automatically uses this type of storage. We are particularly thinking of Creative Cloud where your PhotoShop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc. creations are stored.

Considerable savings

How is it possible that the cloud is more economically advantageous to store your data? In reality, a cloud storage subscription doesn’t cost too much. Get a 100 GB subscription in the Google One cloud. This only costs you € 1.99 / month! Moreover, when we store our data in a cloud, we take a package corresponding to what you need. While when buying an external hard drive for example, we take more than necessary in anticipation of a possible need for more storage in the years to come. So a buyer often finds himself buying a fairly expensive 1 or more terabyte hard drive when they don’t need it.

Another use of the cloud: cloud gaming

The cloud can be used to back up your data, sure, but that’s not the only possible use of this technology. It is indeed possible to use the cloud to play video games, this is called Cloud Gaming. The principle is simple: you play from your computer, however basic it may be, and you can run the most demanding games with great fluidity. How does it work? The games are actually launched remotely on machines capable of running them. The goal is simply to connect your computer to the game server in question. You therefore only receive on your computer the image of the game which is launched remotely. Microsoft and Sony have entered cloud gaming with the release of their latest generation of consoles, both relying on the Microsoft Azure cloud computing solution.

To do this, you obviously need a excellent internet connection to avoid too much latency and make the games unplayable, optical fiber is therefore required. With this method, the cloud saves you from paying for an overpowered computer if you can’t afford it.

Despite everything, the high energy consumption of the cloud

Yes, it’s not all good about using the cloud. As you have seen, the cloud is now used in many ways. Its varied use and practicality make it a major asset in everyday life, which is why it is becoming more and more popular. In doing so, the data to be processed becomes more and more important and therefore logically requires more energy from the servers to process it correctly. So that the” an increase in energy consumption is estimated at 28% linked to cloud data centers by 2030.

In itself, this remains logical: a higher demand therefore more data to be processed, which logically generates an increase in energy consumption. How to solve this problem ? The objective should presumably be to review and improve the energy efficiency of data centers. Work on the ecodesign of these data centers is still under study and will see the light of day in the years to come. In addition, organizations like Greenpeace are warning especially China, which will be severely impacted by this increase in energy consumption linked to the cloud. She invites him to turn to renewable energies such as the sun and the wind.

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