Feeds

Greenpeace fears clouds will turn earth brown

'I am iPad, destroyer of worlds'

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Right moves, wrong reasons

But while the environmental activist group applauds cloud-computing companies for "pursuing design and siting strategies that can reduce the energy consumption of their data centers," it faults them for doing so "primarily as a cost containment measure. For most companies, the environmental benefits of green data design are generally of secondary concern."

For example, Greenpeace has taken Facebook to task for its decision to site its new data center in Prineville, Oregon, where it will be powered by Pacific Power, a utility that Greenpeace claims is fueled primarily by coal.

"Increasing the energy efficiency of [Facebook's] servers and reducing the energy footprint of the infrastructure of data centres are clearly to be commended, but efficiency by itself is not green if you are simply working to maximise output from the cheapest and dirtiest energy source available," the report reads.

In an effort to shame Facebook into using renewable energy, Greenpeace has somewhat ironically set up two Facebook pages - one in English and a second in Spanish - to pressure the company to use renewable rather than coal-based energy. As of Wednesday afternoon, the pages had nearly 375,000 members.

Greenpeace's list of comparable data-center energy quality

Google and Yahoo!, good. Apple and Microsoft, bad

As for the iPad - a device that The Reg once referred to as having "a data-center soul" - the report notes that Apple's $1bn data center in Catawba County, North Carolina, currently under construction, will get its energy from a local electrical grid that contains only 3.8 per cent renewable energy, and a full 50.5 per cent from dirty ol' coal and 38.7 per cent from nasty nukes. Google's data center in The Dalles, Oregon, by contrast, gets 50.9 per cent of its juice from renewable sources, according to Greenpeace.

Greenpeace and Apple have had a rocky relationship in the past, although the activists had nice things to say about Cupertino in its January Greener Electronics Guide - but that was after dope-slapping them back in 2006 for their environmentally unfriendly manufacturing.

It remains to be seen whether Greenpeace and Apple can remain buddies as the iPad, iPhone, and other Cupertinian devices suck more and more content from what Greenpeace sees as a rather dirty cloud. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
Seagate's triple-headed Cerberus could SAVE the DISK WORLD
... and possibly bring us even more HAMR time. Yay!
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.