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A forecast of the Cloud

Oscarsson, Ingela LU (2014) FMI820 20141
Environmental and Energy Systems Studies
Abstract (Swedish)
IT ses ofta som en del av lösningen för att uppnå ett hållbart samhälle genom till exempel minskat resande, optimering
av industri- och jordbruksprocesser, intelligenta elmätare och smarta hem. Något man sällan reflekterar över är att ITbranschen
själv också bidrar till elanvändningen. Ett nytt fenomen inom IT-världen är molnet som ger möjlighet till som
det verkar outtömliga resurser i form av lagrings- och beräkningskapacitet, konstant uppkoppling och snabb överföring.
Det finns många definitioner av molnet men om man ser på det materiellt består det av datahallar i olika storlek samt
fasta och trådlösa nätverk som drar el dygnet runt. Om användningen av molntjänster ökar – hur mycket kommer
elanvändningen öka och med den också den... (More)
IT ses ofta som en del av lösningen för att uppnå ett hållbart samhälle genom till exempel minskat resande, optimering
av industri- och jordbruksprocesser, intelligenta elmätare och smarta hem. Något man sällan reflekterar över är att ITbranschen
själv också bidrar till elanvändningen. Ett nytt fenomen inom IT-världen är molnet som ger möjlighet till som
det verkar outtömliga resurser i form av lagrings- och beräkningskapacitet, konstant uppkoppling och snabb överföring.
Det finns många definitioner av molnet men om man ser på det materiellt består det av datahallar i olika storlek samt
fasta och trådlösa nätverk som drar el dygnet runt. Om användningen av molntjänster ökar – hur mycket kommer
elanvändningen öka och med den också den globala uppvärmningen? I denna studie kommer molnet definieras,
materialiseras och kvantifieras för att kunna bedöma dess elbehov idag och i framtiden. Lagar och regler för
energieffektivisering kommer undersökas och framtida prognoser tas fram genom tillväxtmodeller.
De huvudsakliga resultaten är:
- Det finns inga lagar för hur energieffektiva datahallar måste vara, även om det görs en del inom området på
frivillig basis och företag tar på sig egna miljömål. Europeiska unionen inkluderade vissa delar av servrar i
ekodesigndirektivet år 2014 vilket visar på att problemet har börjat tas upp.
- Användningen av molnet kommer öka explosionsartat i framtiden och det finns stor potential för
energieffektivisering när det gäller lagring, bearbetning och överföring av data. Beroende på hur mycket som
energieffektiviseras kan molnet komma att konsumera mellan 5 000 och 10 000 TWh år 2040. Detta kan
jämföras med hela IT-branschen som 2010 drog mellan 700 och 1 000 TWh. Om man jämför molnet och
traditionell IT är molnet oftast mer energieffektivt bland annat därför att resurser förbrukas efter behov och
servrar utnyttjas optimalt. Det finns alltså ännu större potential för energieffektivisering om hela IT-sektorn
inkluderas.
- Om inte energieffektivisering sker alls kommer molnets energiförbrukning öka bortom greppbara magnituder.
Det finns dock också studier som pekar på att den totala energikonsumtionen kan minska sett från idag, även
om användningen av molnet ökar, då teknik med mycket bättre energiprestanda håller på att utvecklas.
- Då dagens lagstiftning inte täcker in energieffektivisering ligger ett stort ansvar på företag att göra detta på
frivillig basis, vilket till viss del motiveras av att de sparar pengar genom att energieffektivisera. Det är dock
mycket viktigt att denna energiåtgång uppmärksammas och att den inte tillåts skena iväg i framtiden. (Less)
Abstract
Information and communication technology (ICT) is often seen as part of the solution for a sustainable society, for
example through reduced travel, optimization of industrial and agricultural processes, smart meters and smart homes.
However, something usually left unconsidered is the electricity consumption of ICT itself. A new phenomenon of the
ICT industry is the Cloud that enables seemingly inexhaustible resources in terms of storage and computing capacity,
constant connection and fast transfer. There are many definitions of cloud but if looked at from a material point of
view it consists of data centers in different sizes as well as wired and wireless networks that consumes electricity. If
usage of cloud services increase - how... (More)
Information and communication technology (ICT) is often seen as part of the solution for a sustainable society, for
example through reduced travel, optimization of industrial and agricultural processes, smart meters and smart homes.
However, something usually left unconsidered is the electricity consumption of ICT itself. A new phenomenon of the
ICT industry is the Cloud that enables seemingly inexhaustible resources in terms of storage and computing capacity,
constant connection and fast transfer. There are many definitions of cloud but if looked at from a material point of
view it consists of data centers in different sizes as well as wired and wireless networks that consumes electricity. If
usage of cloud services increase - how much will electricity consumption and with it global warming increase? In this
study the cloud is defined, materialized and quantified in order to estimate its electricity demand today and in the
future. Laws and regulations for energy efficiency will be examined and future forecasts are created with the use of
growth models. The main results are:
- There are no regulations of how energy efficient data centers must be, even though some companies set their
own environmental goals and voluntary projects are carried out. The European Union included some parts of
servers in the Ecodesign Directive in 2014, which shows that the problem has begun to be addressed.
- The usage of the cloud will increase dramatically in the future and there is great potential to improve energy
efficiency in terms of storage, processing and transmission of data. Depending on how energy efficient the
cloud will be it can consume between 5 000 and 10 000 TWh in 2040. This can be compared to the entire ICT
industry which consumed between 700 and 1 000 TWh in 2010. If the cloud is compared with traditional IT it
is usually more energy efficient as resources are pooled and used when needed and servers are utilized
optimally. Therefore there is even greater potential for improving energy efficiency if the entire ICT sector is
included.
- If there are no energy efficiency improvements at all the cloud’s energy consumption will increase beyond
graspable magnitudes. However, there are also studies that indicate that the total energy consumption can
decrease in the future, even though the use of the cloud increases, due to new efficient technologies currently
under development.
- As current regulations do not include energy efficiency of data centers, a huge responsibility is placed at
companies to do this on a voluntary basis. The companies do however have a self-interest to improve energy
efficiency as it saves them money - but is it enough? It is very important that this energy consumption is
recognized and is not allowed to increase out of control in the future. (Less)
Popular Abstract (Swedish)
Den ökande användningen av onlinetjänster medför att elkonsumtionen från datahallar och nätverk kommer skjuta i höjden om vi inte energieffektiviserar. Idag saknas det generellt lagar om hur effektiva datacenter måste vara. Ett enormt ansvar läggs på att företag själva är förutseende och satsar på energieffektiv teknik. Det finns dock stora möjligheter att spara energi, både för datahallar och nätverk - om viljan finns.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Oscarsson, Ingela LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
An investigation of the energy use from one of the fastest growing phenomena of the IT sector - the Cloud
course
FMI820 20141
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
electricity consumption, The Cloud, ICT, information and communication technology, efficiency
report number
ISRN LUTFD2/TFEM--14/5087--SE + (1-72)
ISSN
1102-3651
language
English
id
4777582
date added to LUP
2015-02-16 15:59:18
date last changed
2015-02-16 15:59:18
@misc{4777582,
  abstract     = {Information and communication technology (ICT) is often seen as part of the solution for a sustainable society, for
example through reduced travel, optimization of industrial and agricultural processes, smart meters and smart homes.
However, something usually left unconsidered is the electricity consumption of ICT itself. A new phenomenon of the
ICT industry is the Cloud that enables seemingly inexhaustible resources in terms of storage and computing capacity,
constant connection and fast transfer. There are many definitions of cloud but if looked at from a material point of
view it consists of data centers in different sizes as well as wired and wireless networks that consumes electricity. If
usage of cloud services increase - how much will electricity consumption and with it global warming increase? In this
study the cloud is defined, materialized and quantified in order to estimate its electricity demand today and in the
future. Laws and regulations for energy efficiency will be examined and future forecasts are created with the use of
growth models. The main results are:
- There are no regulations of how energy efficient data centers must be, even though some companies set their
own environmental goals and voluntary projects are carried out. The European Union included some parts of
servers in the Ecodesign Directive in 2014, which shows that the problem has begun to be addressed.
- The usage of the cloud will increase dramatically in the future and there is great potential to improve energy
efficiency in terms of storage, processing and transmission of data. Depending on how energy efficient the
cloud will be it can consume between 5 000 and 10 000 TWh in 2040. This can be compared to the entire ICT
industry which consumed between 700 and 1 000 TWh in 2010. If the cloud is compared with traditional IT it
is usually more energy efficient as resources are pooled and used when needed and servers are utilized
optimally. Therefore there is even greater potential for improving energy efficiency if the entire ICT sector is
included.
- If there are no energy efficiency improvements at all the cloud’s energy consumption will increase beyond
graspable magnitudes. However, there are also studies that indicate that the total energy consumption can
decrease in the future, even though the use of the cloud increases, due to new efficient technologies currently
under development.
- As current regulations do not include energy efficiency of data centers, a huge responsibility is placed at
companies to do this on a voluntary basis. The companies do however have a self-interest to improve energy
efficiency as it saves them money - but is it enough? It is very important that this energy consumption is
recognized and is not allowed to increase out of control in the future.},
  author       = {Oscarsson, Ingela},
  issn         = {1102-3651},
  keyword      = {electricity consumption,The Cloud,ICT,information and communication technology,efficiency},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {A forecast of the Cloud},
  year         = {2014},
}