Google touts energy efficiency as another Google Apps benefit

In its official blog, the cloud service giant says it could reduce power consumption associated with running productivity apps by between 65 percent and 85 percent.

How much electricity could your company save by migrating to Google Apps instead of running on-premise productivity applications? Google is touting some new self-crunched data suggesting that the power consumption savings could be between 65 percent and 85 percent.

The estimates, published in Google's Official Blog, used the company's recent deployment with the U.S. General Services Administration as a reference account for its calculations and analysis. The GSA has switched approximately 17,000 users over to Google Apps.

Google figures that the energy savings come from three many areas (which are illustrated in the graphic above):

  1. Cutting the number of servers that need to be run on-site in favor of offsite servers that are running more efficiently
  2. Reducing the power that must be consumed in order to cool off those servers
  3. Throttling the internal networking traffic to support an internal application installation

The company notes:

"A typical organization has a lot more servers than it needs -- for backups, failures and spikes in demand for computing. Cloud-based service providers like Google aggregate demand across thousands of people, substantially increasing how much servers are utilized."

In the case of the GSA, Google is estimating that the federal agency will reduce its annual energy bill by about $285,000, which is a 93 percent cost reduction.

Have you included the cost of electricity in your assessments of on-premise versus cloud-hosted applications? Perhaps it is time to make it part of the equation. Security and other considerations might wind up outweighing those savings, but it's worth having the discussion.