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How green is cloud computing?

For businesses looking to score public relations and ESG (environmental, social, and governance) points for being green, where cloud computing ranks on the sustainable technology scale has been a burning question. How do we answer that?

The trouble with cloud computing is that each deployment is different and includes a different mix of technologies. Total carbon footprint is based on a complex array of factors that determine how much power is needed. Is the cloud a sustainable technology? The answer is one that so many people hate: “It depends.”

[ Also on InfoWorld: 12 ways to make really bad technology decisions ]

Today, all the hyperscalers boast that their clouds are green and are moving to zero emissions. That’s all true, and good for them; however, when it comes to the greenness of specific cloud deployments for specific enterprises we’re left saying, “yes, this part is green, but this part isn’t green.” It’s deployment-dependent.

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