Cloud Computing Study for Microsoft

WSP has carried out the first detailed analysis of how the energy use of the cloud compares to traditional systems.



Our client’s challenge
With cloud computing, companies move their IT infrastructure and content from a fixed network to the internet, so they no longer have the costs of maintaining servers and software, they can draw on effectively unlimited capacity as they need it, and files can be accessed from anywhere.

WSP was commissioned by Microsoft to carry out a groundbreaking study to assess the environmental impact of cloud computing.

The study provided a quantitative and measurable analysis of the impact that cloud computing can have, directly compared to traditional deployment of IT within a company.

It has also been used as a model for the development of specific methodologies by the Carbon Trust and Global e-Sustainability Initiative to measure the direct and indirect carbon emissions of ICT.

Following the success of the Microsoft study, WSP also carried out a targeted piece of research with, a provider of cloud computing services to leading multinational companies. This demonstrated that its IT platform emits 95% less carbon than traditional on-premise systems and is nearly 64% more efficient than private clouds.

The Microsoft study continues to be cited by academic and industry experts across the world and is used as the base for further work at Microsoft and other ICT companies.