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As environmental issues begin to take center attention in the minds of people and on the agendas of legislature, saving energy has become an important issue facing many companies. For any business that deploys a significant amount of information technology resources, including anything from office computers to servers and data storage, reducing energy consumption while increasing resource efficiency is easier with cloud services.
Cloud services are on-demand, network-available computing resources, programs, and managed services. Also known as virtualization, physical IT resources can be utilized on a subscription or per-use basis through remote hosting. For example, software can be used through a remote provider via a network connection rather than purchasing and installing a local copy or license of that program onto every computer. Data storage can be leased in the same way instead of purchasing and installing more servers.
Cloud services have been recognized as offering many companies flexible, low-cost technology solutions that can be scaled to meet changes in demand effortlessly, all without capital outlays and dedicated support personnel and overhead. Let us examine some specific examples of employing cloud services to both achieve energy efficiency and productivity.
Data Security and Reliability Through Remote Backup Services
The bread and butter of IT resources usually consist of data management and backup, whether it is customer accounts, order histories, or client records. Cloud services can be leveraged to streamline data storage through a single portal and a single location. Most companies end up adding storage capacity over time to accommodate growth, but that creates a lot of disparate data devices that all have to be maintained separately. Virtual data hosting simplifies the entire process.
Virtual data storage services provide a number of benefits for companies of any size. In regards to green IT, virtual data storage is performed on high-performance media that consume less energy and is dynamically scaled to meet demands without waste. Coordinated storage procedures through a single, remote source ensure reliable data backup procedures and easy disaster recovery. All of these features are purchased on an as-needed plan without in-house support departments and overhead.
Managed services for data reliability include procedures compatible with PCI/DDS, Sarbanes-Oxley, and HIPPA in a plug-and-play setup.
Efficient Document and Information Management through Email Archiving
Even companies that are not heavily dependent on data still generate and manage a large volume of emails and electronic documents. Email archiving is performed by nearly every employee in an office, quickly generating hundreds and thousands of data pieces, each managed in small quantities in a different manner by each worker. This quickly creates a situation where important emails are spread out between computer hard drives, backup disks, and network drives and are not easily accessible.
Secure email archiving works to consolidate all of this data and creates effective standards in order to improve accessibility and increase reliability. This data consolidation utilizes high efficiency storage devices to save on costs and energy usage. Email archiving routines will consolidate emails, remove duplicates, and compress data all through remote managed services and internet connections to data centers. Add in retention policies and automated backup sessions and the increased efficiencies translate into saved costs, time, and energy.
Expanding IT Resources with Virtual Infrastructure
In addition to data storage and management, nearly any IT device or infrastructure can be virtualized. Cloud services cover everything from operating system virtualization, such as applications and software, to hardware, like networks, servers, and data centers, to managed services, such as regulatory compliance, industry best practices, and security and reliability procedures.
The power of virtual infrastructure lies in its scalability. Instead of periodic capital outlays for upgrades and expansions, cloud services are matched to current and future needs with instant expansions and reductions in services to follow the business cycle and seasonal operations. This efficiency translates into cutting excess costs and consuming only the minimum amount of energy. In addition, remote managed services create a safety net through redundant systems and backups for quick disaster recovery with a minimal loss in business continuity.
Like a utility provider, customers only pay for what they use without ever having systems running idle. The reductions in power consumption can form the basis of green initiatives that enable companies to rethink mission statements and company values with environmental concerns in mind. Beyond corporate culture, green solutions also carry the potential for securing incentive programs from local and federal governments. In the end, green cloud and managed services allows business to run more efficiently.