Operating quietly and invisibly somewhere in great unknown is The Cloud, where masses of data are stored for companies like Apple, Amazon, Yahoo and Microsoft—and universities like Oregon State.
Cloud-based operations are the resolution for today’s information overload. Consider what size building would be required to house paper records on every student, employee, instructor, and course here at OSU. That kind of record keeping would not only take us back to the inefficiency of the1800s, but it would also be incredibly damaging to the environment in so many ways. Thanks to clever technology engineers, we have The Cloud, an often hidden place that makes all that data easier to manage, allows organizations to locate and maintain data efficiently, and in a way that is green and sustainable.
But is it? How many large organizations are paying attention to the way their data centers are fueled? An article published in Campus Technology magazine by Alicia Brazington cites How Clean is Your Cloud?, a report issued by Greenpeace, that details how the rapid growth of cloud computing is negatively impacting the environment, and proposes ways for the globe’s 14 biggest cloud-computing hitters to make changes for the better.
It’s an issue that has been a priority for OSU for some time, and as Brazington’s article states, Oregon State University is among the green leaders in higher education. While many colleges and universities pay little attention to the source of the electricity powering their data centers, Oregon State has made this issue one of top importance. It’s proof that the university is not just saying we’re making strides in energy efficiency, but sustainability efforts are clearly evident when you scratch below the surface.
As the article states, OSU is one of the colleges that is among the green leaders in higher ed, and it has already instituted IT policies to help preserve the environment. We’re proud that OSU’s efforts have landed us on The Princeton Review’s 2012 list of 322 top green colleges and in the Campus Technology article.
OSU has been purchasing almost 100 percent renewable energy since 2007 and continues to work on improving its efficiency through physical server consolidation and virtualization projects. OSU is proud of the fact that environmental issues were a consideration during development of its private cloud, long before the Greenpeace report was released. Now, it’s up to the leadership here at OSU to continue its commitment to providing the cleanest, most renewable energy options possible.