How Green is the iCloud?

Credit: Apple

What did you think of Apple’s iCloud announcement?

I wasn’t sitting by my computer refreshing the screen or anything, but I did keep an eye out for the news via my RSS feeds and social networks. I own a MacBook, an iPhone, and an iPod, so I wanted to how useful this service would be for me.

Although I never doubted that the convenience of the iCloud, the environmental impact concerns me. Many data servers are required to store this much data in the cloud and to make it accessible 24/7.

According to the announcement, each person will receive up to 5GB of free data storage for mail, documents, and backup purposes. Books and music purchased on iTunes can be stored for free and users can buy additional data. The iCloud data centers require a large energy supply—but will it be green energy?

Steve Jobs only said that the data centers would be “as green as they could make them,” according to TreeHugger.

So how green can Apple make these servers? I don’t think that Jobs’ statement is promising. Google is known for its transparency regarding the environmental impact of their services and for its efficient data centers. If Jobs could match or beat that, he would have said so, right?

I love Apple products, but the company isn’t known for being green. Apple ranked 9th in a Greenpeace poll about the greenest electronics, and last for environmental response on another poll. Let’s hope that Apple steps up their green efforts!

What do you think about the iCloud?

You can read more about the iCloud here.

You can read about Facebook’s data centers here and about the energy required for a Google search here.

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