Microsoft Pitches Greener Cloud to Win Clients From Own Servers


Microsoft Corp. has a new way to pitch cloud-computing to clients: appeal to their green side. 

The software giant said that running four popular applications in its cloud data centers significantly reduces energy use and carbon emissions compared with companies’ own server farms.

Microsoft tested Azure’s computing and storage services, as well as running Exchange email and SharePoint collaboration software. The improvements in the cloud varied – small systems running at a company are the most inefficient – with SharePoint showing an energy savings of as low as 22 percent to as high as 93 percent depending on the size and setup of a company’s data center. For the other three tasks, energy improvement was at least over 50 percent and went as high as the 70s and 80s.  

That’s because Microsoft has invested in buying renewable energy for many of its massive data center operations and is using energy-saving technology like programmable chips that use artificial intelligence to choose which servers to send traffic.  

The company put out the report, which was compiled by Microsoft and consultant WSP Global, ahead of an appearance Thursday by President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith at Bloomberg’s Sustainable Business Summit in Seattle. 

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