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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.”


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