Making the Cloud Greener

Every once in a while, we’re asked about the cloud, cloud computing, or the “true cloud“.  Most often, that question is along the lines of, “What IS the cloud?”  And so we explain:  Generally companies who are using cloud-based software are using one, centralized storage space.  This coordinated storage space, is generally housed in physical servers, which take money to own and operate, energy to power, and safeguards that work towards keeping your data safe.  Of course, physical servers – like any computer – are prone to viruses, power outages, hacking attempts, memory loss, and more.

So then we go on to explain about our cloud – how we’ve built an infrastructure for storage without the need for physical space or servers.  We’ve started using a phrase that says it all – “With Digital Lifeboat, YOU are the cloud”.

And sometimes, some wiseguy will ask, “Well, why would I want to be the cloud?”

Why?  Well, for one thing, our online data backups are greener than traditional data storage options.  Digital Lifeboat stores super-encrypted fragments of your files across an array of computers in the cloud.  Our community of PCs don't require the massive energy drain to both run and cool a data center.  By using the open hard drive space of our member's PCs, our members are the cloud.  They benefit from unlimited backup space.  They benefit from our cloud’s self-healing properties which automatically makes room for the file space they need.  The environment wins with the most ecologically friendly backup on the planet.

Did you know that in 2008, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories and Stanford University teamed up on a study, showing that data centers represent about 1% of the world’s electricity consumption.  That’s huge!

The study says:

“[The growth rate of electricity consumed is approximately] 16.7% per year for the world. About 80% of this growth is attributable to growth in electricity used by servers (almost entirely volume servers), with 10% of growth in electricity use associated with data center communications and about the same percentage for storage equipment. The overall increase in server electricity use is driven almost entirely by the increase in the number of volume servers….”

Of course, later research showed that energy consumption was less than expected, but 1% of total world energy consumption is STILL huge!  In industry that’s used to massive amounts of energy consumption – the way data centers are – it was important for us to find a solution to storing our users’ data, with as little impact on the environment as possible.  So we set out to do the right thing – with the help of our users, we built an online file storage system that is greener than traditional data centers.  So our users know that every time they open the lid on their laptop and hit the power button, they’re helping to save our planet – a little bit at a time.

Why should you want to be the cloud?  If you own a computer, you probably want to ensure that your data is safe.  And if you’re at all like us, you probably want to keep your planet safe.  So it makes sense to stick with a “greener” cloud, like the true cloud online backup system from Digital Lifeboat.