Invention lets companies choose greener cloud options

November 11, 2013

IBM inventors have patented a technique that enables cloud computing data center operators to dynamically redistribute workloads to lower-powered or underutilized systems, thereby minimizing the environmental footprint and impact of cloud services.

Business and government demand for cloud-based IT infrastructure services is growing rapidly. As a result, cloud data center power consumption is on the rise. Most commodity cloud providers follow one-size-fits-all approach to delivering services via power crunching servers—without taking into account the sustainability strategies of individual customers.

IBM's patented invention is similar to how energy utilities offer consumers ways to automatically access and pay for such as wind or solar to reduce their impact on the environment. With this approach, a cloud will be tuned to automatically route service requests through network devices, systems and software that process the service while consuming the least amount of electricity.

The patented cloud computing technique is similar to how energy companies dynamically price and serve energy according to the type of energy a customer needs, how much is required, when it is needed, etc.

IBM received U.S. Patent #8,549,125: Environmentally sustainable computing in a distributed computer network for the invention.

"The efficient, distributed cloud computing model has made it possible for people to bank, shop, trade stocks and do many other things online, but the that enable these apps can include many thousands of energy-consuming systems," said Keith Walker, IBM Master Inventor and co-inventor on the patent. "We have invented a way for cloud service providers to more efficiently manage their and, as a result, significantly reduce their environmental impact."

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