Microsoft is Improving Cloud Computing Energy Efficiency with AI

Microsoft is Improving Cloud Computing Energy Efficiency with AI

Traditional data centers have a lot to learn from Microsoft in regard to energy efficiency. According to a study conducted by Microsoft last month, their cloud services are 94% more energy efficient than the common data center. The biggest factor in this ability to remain highly efficient is artificial intelligence use in regard to hardware management.

With AI directing Microsoft’s computers within their data centers, decisions can be made in real time, making the most of their virtual servers. Cloud tasks are able to be processed much more methodically, preserving power for tasks as they need to completed.

Computing efficiency isn’t the only area where AI is cutting costs. Many of you may know that cloud storage centers typically generate significant cooling costs. Microsoft has been 100% carbon neutral since 2012 through the use of wind, solar, and hydropower. AI and machine learning has contributed to their ability to cut electricity and cooling costs.

As an extension of their cloud business Microsoft has been funding projects throughout the world, with a focus on sustainable development. These projects total 1.2 gigawatts of power worldwide, and include the recent construction of data centers on the ocean floor off the coast of the Orkney Islands in the U.K.

Although Microsoft is leading the pack in regard to sustainability programs, there are other major companies that are taking their lead. Amazon announced their commitment to power 50% of their cloud services using solar and wind farms by the end of 2017, but has yet to report on the results of these efforts.

Google, the third largest cloud provider, has also been striving for improved energy efficiency. The company has utilized machine learning as a method to reduce the energy used for the purposes of data center cooling. In fact, machine learning has led to a 40% decrease in energy being used.

These organizations are doing important work, as cloud usage will only increase over the next 5 years. According a recent report from Cisco, cloud traffic will account for 95% of data center traffic by 2021. This means that energy efficiency in the cloud computing space is becoming more important than ever before.