Assuming you are going to have the same amount of storage space either concentrated or distributed, 
I would put money on the Centralized storage producing less CO2.  Efficiencies of scale would reduce 
  most of the costs and materials and energy used.  Plus it only takes one person to decide they 
will buy their power from wind or solar generation (if they decide to do that...)

At worst I think the result would be neutral on the power consumption. But the measurement of 
existing A/C in the distributed environment vs. New A/C in the concentrated environment is probably 
important to getting a real answer. Would other positive factors in the centralized life cycle 
counteract or even exceed the new A/C capacity brought on line? And would the addition of small 
numbers of drive in a distributed environment have any effect on that A/C?


On 12/1/15 8:08 PM, Bruce Bartrug wrote:
> A good question, Will.  How much energy is required to power huge buildings filled with servers and
> storage devices, plus air conditioning to keep that equipment cool?  More important, what is the
> source of that power?
> bab
> On Tue, Dec 1, 2015 at 6:29 PM, Will Smith <[log in to unmask]
> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
>     Seeing this group is interested in conservation, has anyone researched the relative advantages
>     or disadvantages in terms of global warming of maintaining massive server installations (the
>     cloud) as opposed to storing data locally. This seems critical if we want to preserve native
>     species as much as possible.____

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