Think about the amount of power being used by all of the world’s data centers. You may be surprised to find out that data centers comprise 2% of the world’s power consumption. Depending on your profession, you may think that this number is larger or smaller than you expected. Another interesting statistic to note is that the internet as we know it today moves as much information in an hour as the entire internet consumed within the year 2000.
With this in mind, IBM has realized that there was a problem. Not all cloud datacenters are created the same and some are more energy efficient than others. IBM’s solution to this problem was to create a broker that directed traffic to greener, more energy efficient cloud datacenters so that overall energy consumption around the globe drops. This broker would in essence create competition amongst the datacenters because the greener datacenters will use less power and deploy more services all while reducing overhead.
IBM has patented this process with the US patent office under patent number 8,549,125. IBM Master Inventor Keith Walker is credited with originating this concept. It is also noted that IBM has an annual budget of $6B for research and development. Walker was noted as saying: “My co-inventors and I like to brainstorm around the cloud, and one of our key passions is the environment, and we are also very involved in distributed networking, the cloud space, peer-to-peer technology and data centers. One need we saw was that these large companies need a way to specify the balance between getting cloud computing tasks done and balancing that with the environmental impact for completing those tasks.” With this new invention, everyone seems to win. IBM realized a need and figured out an innovative method of fulfilling that need while utilizing datacenter resources that would have otherwise went unused.