Why Cloud Computing motivates green data center behavior

I read a post on Cloud Computing made ridiculously easy.

Making Cloud Computing Ridiculously Easy

One small click for man, one giant cloud for mankind!


With all the hullabaloo about cloud computing, it is easy to get caught up in the trend of the day and miss the big picture. The big picture is that cloud computing disrupts the data center world by slashing the capital and skills required to deploy a web application.

If that is the big prize, then most of what passes for news in cloud computing is more along the lines of "me speak cloud too."

This ease of use and the business/economic model is driving the growth of Cloud Computing.

Amazon Web Services Economics Center, comparing AWS/cloud computing vs co-location vs owned data center

Amazon Web Services has a post on the Economics of AWS.

The Economics of AWS

For the past several years, many people have claimed that cloud computing can reduce a company's costs, improve cash flow, reduce risks, and maximize revenue opportunities. Until now, prospective customers have had to do a lot of leg work to compare the costs of a flexible solution based on cloud computing to a more traditional static model. Doing a genuine "apples to apples" comparison turns out to be complex — it is easy to neglect internal costs which are hidden away as "overhead".

After watching multiple presentations and efforts to get people to measure their energy consumption in the data center, I am ready to throw in the towel on changing human behavior in this area.  Not to say energy monitoring shouldn’t be done, but moving beyond the current user base is difficult.

Here is an example to think about when consumers get their bills what amount of attention do they spend on their credit card bill vs. their electricity bill? 10 to 1?  20 to 1?  Maybe 100 to 1.  It is ingrained in human behavior to look at the money more than the electricity.

The Cloud Computing infrastructure is getting easier too even though his article makes it seem difficult.

Today, cloud development and deployment is still the exclusive domain of highly paid web experts and just as highly paid hosting providers and systems administrators. As much as cloud providers like Amazon and Rackspace have done to simplify web hosting and eliminate people from the equation, it still takes far too much expertise and effort to get applications built and deployed in the cloud.

The goal of cloud computing is to make web development and deployment something that any bum can do and charge in on their credit card with nary a care in the world.

In fact, I think it is easier to get people to discuss cloud computing infrastructure than energy monitoring infrastructure. 

Eucalyptus provides AWS compatible infrastructure.

Eucalyptus turns data center resources such as machines, networks, and storage systems into a cloud that is controlled and customized by local IT. Eucalyptus is the only cloud architecture to support the same application programming interfaces (APIs) as public clouds, and today Eucalyptus is fully compatible with the Amazon Web Services cloud infrastructure.

If you want Google Application Engine Cloud Computing compatibility than there is AppScale.

AppScale is an open-source implementation of the Google AppEngine (GAE) cloud computing interface from the RACELab at UC Santa Barbara. AppScale enables execution of GAE applications on virtualized cluster systems. In particular, AppScale enables users to execute GAE applications using their own clusters with greater scalability and reliability than the GAE SDK provides. Moreover, AppScale executes automatically and transparently over cloud infrastructures such as the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Eucalyptus, the open-source implementation of the AWS interfaces.

If you going to manage the Cloud there is RightScale.

The RightScale Cloud Management Platform


RightScale is the leading provider of cloud management solutions that enable you to design, deploy, manage, and automate business-critical applications on the cloud. To date, hundreds of thousands of deployments have been launched on the RightScale Cloud Management Platform – running everything from scalable websites to complex grid applications. Cloud computing represents a tidal shift in the way IT infrastructure operates, enabling greater agility and lower costs across company sizes. RightScale delivers the power of the cloud to every business.

I’ve already blogged about Elastra’s management tools.

  1. Is Elastra one of Amazons Cloud Computing infrastructure tools? An ...

    Jan 19, 2010 ... I plan on having a meeting with Elastra next week when I am in the bay area. I wrote about their tools last week. Elastra's Cloud Computing ...

  2. Elastras Cloud Computing Application Infrastructure = Green IT ...

    Jan 14, 2010 ... Elastra connects the power use in the data center to the application architects and deployment decision makers. Plan Composer function lets ...

And in fact Elastra can be used as power metrics tool in cloud computing.

Plan Composer function lets customers set their own policies based on application needs and specific power metrics (such as wattage, PUE, number of cores, etc.). Therefore, if an application requires 4GB of RAM and two cores for optimal performance, and if the customer is concerned with straight wattage, Elastra’s product will automatically route it to the lowest-power 4GB, dual-core virtual machine available.

So, I think it will be easier to create greener data centers riding the momentum for cloud computing deployments than educating the masses on the benefits of energy monitoring in the data center.

Keep in mind the goal of green/energy metrics is to change behavior.  Not to sell energy monitoring solutions.