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AWS Customers Demand Amazon Come Clean On Cloud Power

Jun 03, 2015

Steyer-Taylor Center Research Fellow Jonathan Koomey is quoted in this Wall Street Journal blog post discussing data-center efficiency.

Amazon recently agreed to reveal the financial details of its Amazon Web Services cloud-computing operations. Now customers are demanding that the tight-lipped company open up about AWS’ electricity consumption.

Hootsuite, Tumblr and Upworthy are among 19 AWS customers that signed a May 27 letter to AWS chief Andy Jassy, asking him to release details about the company’s “energy and carbon footprints and progress toward renewable energy goals.”

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However, experts say the issue is not so simple. “It is true that Amazon’s servers are much more highly utilized than traditional servers,” said Jonathan Koomey, a research fellow at Stanford University who studies data-center power efficiency. “But that’s not the whole story,” he added. The source of the electricity and the amount of electricity that’s used for non-computing functions such as cooling are important factors too. Amazon trails competitors such as Google in those areas, he said.

Wall Street Journal