While cloud computing services are touted as ‘greener’ than in-house IT infrastructure, heating and cooling costs make the location of the data storage space a salient consideration, according to industry analysts, Gartner.
Marcus Blosch, research vice president at Gartner, says this makes New Zealand services more sustainable than those on offer in Australia.
"Truly sustainable computing needs to combine energy-efficient technologies and the use of reliably available low-emission electricity,” Blosch says, "which may prompt significant changes to the geolocation of data storage and other services in the long term.
"Just as labour arbitrage has driven some aspects of business process outsourcing activities, emissions arbitrage will play an increasingly significant role for outsourced IT storage and services.”
Blosch says up to 50% of data centre operating costs are associated with heating and cooling, meaning energy consumption, efficiency, monitoring and management will be a dominant trend in data centre operations over the next five years.
"We anticipate that the parallel growth in sustainable service differentiation and the risks associated with future costs on emission-intensive electricity will result in growth in globally distributed IT services in geographies that can boast an established blend of electricity generation dominated by low-emission sources.
"Vendors and end users will likely remove risk from some of the activities by moving away from established markets in emission-intensive geographies.”