16 SEPTEMBER 10
HOW GREEN IS THE INTERNET CLOUD?
Note: The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during Fifth Meeting of the IGF, in Vilnius. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, we're very pleased (inaudible). Try to raise your voices (inaudible) my name is (inaudible).
>> Tracy Hackshaw. Next (inaudible) government regional governments (off microphone) services (off microphone).
>> Let's first have our first speaker, from the Indian government, on the opportunities of cloud computing in the context of an emerging economy. We'll hear more about the particular challenges but especially the challenges for cloud computing and how Dr. Govind sees that. These are your 10 to 12 minutes, Dr. Govind.
>> DR. GOVIND: Good morning. Sponsored this workshop on the greener and leaner cloud computing efforts. We have a cloud outside so I thought this was the best time to talk about cloud computing. Cloud computing is like a cloud. The cloud involves -- (off microphone) rather than a revolution, an evolution -- it has come because of the evolution and convergence of other technologies. Your primary technologies like (off microphone) vision, service or architecture, distributed computing, broadband at works, browser as a platform, free and open source (off microphone) other technologies such as that, their application framework and service agreements. Would not be (off microphone) to say that cloud computing is the next natural step of current values, technologies and applications. I will now go into the details of cloud and all this sort of thing. Cloud computing can be broadly grouped into three major categories, software as a service, comprises end service user, delivered as a service rather than a traditional on (off microphone) software. Second is the platform as a service, provides independent platform on middleware as a service on which developers can build and deploy customer applications, common solutions provided in this (off microphone) from APIs and tools to database and business process management systems, et cetera.
Part of the infrastructure as a service primarily -- hardware and technology for computing power, storage, operating systems and other infrastructure delivered as often is on demand service rather than as dedicated on-site resources.
Cloud computing is deployed all over now, like in the private -- like in the cloud enterprise (off microphone) kind of services structure, community cloud, shared infrastructure for a specific community, public cloud like (off microphone) any computer. (off microphone) cloud the composition of two or more models, cloud computing include small enterprises, public (off microphone) and public clouds, minimize, enterprises (off microphone) to help this private clouds, now enterprises may use hybrid cloud infrastructure to deliver both internal and public clouds.
Commenting briefly on the benefits of cloud computing, which below here, the operational benefits include the reliability on demand scaling, operational efficiency, paper use, pricing (off microphone) some of the business benefits are ability to target new customer, build (off microphone) model. However, there are challenges also, like the -- the applications, security, the infrastructure are not -- these are -- ownership of assets, the security and reliability issues, data security, location, compliance and (off microphone) means these are the challenges which one applies the cloud computing. (off microphone) on the management and monitoring infrastructure kind of thing. Due to lack of control on the virtual infrastructure, especially (off microphone) as a service, application architecture itself should have process to provide better control of administrators on various (off microphone), scale out in architecture, bandwidth like scalable (off microphone) cloud computing uses -- if allowed to scale unchecked, remote location (off microphone) needs to be factored into the business use, application architecture and design, and so forth.
So there are first globally, I will name a few like in U.S. and IISD has done activities to promote standards for cloud computing, challenges of cloud computing (off microphone) several standard groups and industry consortium developing. The (off microphone) best practice, open cloud consortium, distributed management passport for cloud (off microphone) standards, cloud security -- cloud computing security, open group cloud, working group. There are euro clouds and there are -- the U.S. government in the cloud sourcing and cloud computing efforts.
India, now I come to the Indian perspective, how the Indian government is going into the cloud computing effort. It's not for associated services and -- and cloud computing is an emerging opportunity in this case, and some of the companies which have taking initiatives are (off microphone) and are taking steps toward making cloud business more proactive steps in these efforts. Some of the India specific, those who are not familiar with India's (off microphone) India has a population of 1.2 billion and growing. The young population is youth -- growth rate 5% and aspiring to reach 10% (off microphone) IT services mostly (off microphone) focused and telecom is internally focused. (off microphone) 11% of the GDP and become 16 to 17% in the next few years. As of now there are (off microphone) fixed telephone lines and 600 million plus mobiles, and 15 million mobiles public more. 16 million internal connections and user (off microphone) 1 million, and 29 million broadband connections: There is a big government programme on the (off microphone) plan, and the rich -- (off microphone) eLearning (off microphone) financial inclusion and of course entertainment. (off microphone) auctions completed and operators are expected to roll out the services.
I will look -- policy, objectives for broadband plan (off microphone) the number of unprecedented challenges like improving health care, education, skill development, (off microphone) organisation, challenges to national security and (off microphone) and mitigate the challenges of (off microphone) while also ensuring new growth. So for information technology with cloud computing and broadband as the most obvious delivering facets increasingly being seen as (off microphone) such challenges in the country, and in this effort the -- the government is taking proactive step as you-all know.
The software developments (off microphone) cloud computing now. The IT industry has seen a dramatic change in the business processing. Even the technical efforts are going on. India (off microphone) opportunity since there are over 1300 software vendors. 1.4 million developers and more than 11,000 system integrators. Custom software (off microphone) system hence India is to deal, great opportunity in the cloud computing efforts. It is a growing booming software cloud computing (off microphone) 300,000 jobs related to cloud services to be created in India for the next five years. (off microphone) Microsoft has said that India would be the obvious hub of the global IT transition for cloud computing services. India will not only see a huge surge in the consumption of cloud services but growth in (off microphone) but companies all over the world will look to India to support their (off microphone) to cloud computing. Turning over 100,000 students (off microphone) software development company has announced the creation of a particular line, cloud computing efforts and systems. (off microphone) Bangalore is building a large-scale application on windows as you are to study the basic, the source location (off microphone) and study is required for (off microphone) enterprises on cloud computing. And then the -- our (off microphone) include the (off microphone) enforces (off microphone) ranging from health care to bank, manufacturing and global markets. Coming to the market, what are the market size? As for the (off microphone) report, India opportunity (off microphone) cloud computing in India stands at use 100 million today and is expected to reach a figure of about 1 billion by the year 2015 (off microphone) globalize (off microphone).
The study brings out what are the various components of this cloud computing in the sector. I will not go into the various other (off microphone) but in the governments sector where the huge opportunities are lying, (off microphone) eGovernance plan where 100,000 kiosks are going to be established in the -- (off microphone) and which is going to be engaged in providing all kinds of G to C services. There will be -- the government has come out with collaboration on (off microphone) why cloud technologies may include (off microphone) services which have not yet (off microphone). It will also make project execution faster. India might soon become one of the first countries in the world to deliver eGovernment services to citizens (off microphone) cloud services. The government is (off microphone) eGovernment services using the emerging technology, which is fast gaining acceptance and enterprises for its affordability and ability to address large number of (off microphone).
The other advantage of using this technology is that IT infrastructure doesn't need to be set up by the government. (off microphone) the technology to handle large number of (off microphone). Citizens can look forward to less condition, bottlenecks, engage in unique situation and our government is making extra efforts to take that -- how the cloud computing and deliveries for the maximum (off microphone) in the government sector.
I will name some of the cloud services operating in India, like Zanit, which is on the -- entrusted to be services, DCS, (off microphone) Magic, Reliance (off microphone) and so forth. So some of the efforts -- we are -- another sector where India is looking, government is making (off microphone) small and medium-size enterprises, India is definitely -- big enterprises can bring down the cost and the IT infrastructure, and there are (off microphone) sector is the sector that contributes (off microphone) euro dollars, 600 billion.
So there is a large scope for the (off microphone) sector to grab emerging technology out of cloud computing which will help in the -- next only to China, where 16% (off microphone) is met by the (off microphone) sector and IT companies are working on the (off microphone) sector to help the government to bring out a plan of action so that the cloud computing can (off microphone) in the maximum, so that it can help the greening of the environment as well as the efforts made in the -- furthering the cause of the cloud computing and lowering the cost. Though primarily (off microphone) will have a major impact on the way software services are delivered and consumed by businesses and consumers. With the multiple flavors, unique challenges and considerable benefits, cloud computing require (off microphone) to adopt the platform in a well-planned phased and structured manner. The migration planning and methodology steps and (off microphone), migration to the cloud can be achieved successfully by (off microphone) the challenges. Thank you.
>> ARTHUR MICKOLEIT: Thank you, Dr. Govind, for this very good insight into the Indian government IT governments or -- well, first of all, into Indian development in general, which is impressive enough, and then into Indian IT development. And I like the notion of evolution or revolution and we'll probably get back to that, is cloud computing evolutionary or is it a revolutionary technology. This probably opens a bit of a box. Let's get back to this later in the discussion.
And for now another point I would like to maybe keep in mind, 90% of citizen services in India that will be powered on the cloud, I think that is impressive in itself, but I mean, I assume that is a challenge to any country, and India also, to provide citizen services that are accepted and used by the citizens, and possibly we can come back to that later in the discussion and see how the cloud computing can help with this.
Before I turn to the next speaker let me welcome Heather Creech to the panel, Heather Creech, which joined us from -- from across the room, I understand, and we're very happy that she can be with us. She will present -- Heather Creech is Global Connectivity director at the Canadian Institute -- International Institute for Sustainable Development, IISD, and she will give a presentation on zero-emissions data centres in just a minute.
Now for the moment let me turn back to the scheduled order, which now we're very happy to have Robert Pepper from Cisco Systems speaking on -- following a bit up on what Dr. Govind just mentioned about cloud computing opportunities and about the ways that governments can use the clouds, and this is from a viewpoint, of course, of Cisco Systems, which is a major company in this field, and then he will -- Robert will also turn a little bit towards the environmental impacts of ICTs in general but also of cloud computing, so, Robert, the floor is open to you.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you. And if I can have the clicker, that's great. Thanks. So there's a variety of -- everybody sort of defines cloud differently. It's one of those terms that mean different things to different people. We know about it sort ever generally. Dr. Govind did a great job talking about specific uses and applications, but one way -- one way, and that's why I say a definition, but one way to think about it, right? Is that it's IT resources and services that are abstracted from underlying infrastructure, and really provide it on demand and at scale in shared environment, a multi-tenant environment. So it's about sharing resources in ways that you can actually get better utilization of computing power at lower costs per user, and we heard some great examples in India and how this is being thought about to be deployed and used. And I'm going to talk about some of those.
Dr. Govind also talk about the different types of cloud delivery models, you know, applications is a service, a platform is a service, even infrastructure as a service. And the underlying enabling technologies, right, are both what are called public and private cloud providers, and sometimes the definition of public and private cloud, again, it's one of those things that's fuzzy and you can have days of debate. That's not the point. The point is to at least try to put some boundaries here, and the national institute of science and technology -- or standards and technology in the U.S. came up with a definition, it's not definitive, it's not, you know, everybody's, but it's a good organizing model to think about how one can organise and talk about and discuss cloud services.
So this talks about the public cloud, which is cloud infrastructure made available to the general public. All right? And these are some of the things that Microsoft has a business model and the ZON Google in which small businesses and people can use -- provided by a very large data centre with scale and do that in a way -- and be able to use those services that they would never be able to afford themselves. The private cloud is really a cloud infrastructure operated only for a single organisation, so a large enterprise, a big bank, a government department may have its own data centre and allow all of its qualified, you know, employees and members to use that computing centre, that data centre.
Now, the data centre, by the way, the public cloud and the private cloud, actually the data centre itself are actually the same -- it's the same technology. It's the access to it, and how it is shared and what are the governance rules and who gets to use it and share it. A hybrid cloud is one where there's, you know, two or more of these data centres and clouds that interoperate or through a federated system, and then there are community clouds. A community cloud might be limited access only for a group of government departments, or it could be an enterprise, a business with their vendors and their customers. It could be a data centre that was being used by NGOs only, so it would be -- again, the underlying technology of the data centre may be no different. It's the governance rules of who has access to it and how it's used.
And then there's another one which is a virtual private cloud, which simulates the private cloud experience in the public cloud infrastructure environment. What does that mean? So if you have a -- you know, our colleague from Microsoft could talk about it, but, you know, if you're a large company with a lot of data centres globally, a Microsoft, a Google, a Trada, infosys, a Wipro, you can make your resources available both to individual users that's isolated as well as making resources available on a more public basis. And so it's a virtualization of that experience.
So what are some of the differences between traditional information technology and the data centre clout environment. In traditional data computing for example it was a dedicated on-site facility and now it's shared. In terms of -- it was a traditional hardware procurement and buying process, and this is important for government, and now it's really self-service. You know, if you're part of the governance model allowed to use it you can access it on demand. Adding the services in the traditional model were difficult. It was one by one, and it was a step function, and now it's really scaling on demand. If there was a failure you had to have on-site maintenance, and now that's really automated and, you know, at a distance, provisioning, especially in the government procurement process, provisioning, buying computers, putting in servers, installing them, going through government procurement could take months and now you can add capacity within minutes.
The cost also is extremely important for government, because the cost of building out your own infrastructure or putting computers on desktops is, you know, a big step function, it's a big up-front incremental cost, whereas in a shared environment you actually can pay on a per-use or per-seat basis, so it actually eases the investment.
Also, Dr. Govind mentioned the kiosk environment in India, and also through all of the developing countries one of the things that you can do with cloud services and cloud computing and cloud applications is that the device that people can have can be very low-cost, right? Which actually increases the density and use by low income people globally of computing services and applications. Just as important, if you're using cloud applications and you have what's called admission control, so before you are admitted to the network or the cloud, it has a handshake, and you can have security, and in that handshake what you can do is make sure that the device does not have viruses or that the device, if it's not working, can be rebooted. So the individual who wants to use the applications of the Internet and broadband doesn't have to be a computer expert and worry about if it crashes, how do I reboot? Do I need to have, you know, a control/alt/delete and what do I do? Right? You never have to worry about that again because those functions for security, and also you can see it to protect children with, you know, the access limitations or controls, that can be done in the cloud. So you can think about the cloud services with a very low-cost device connecting to it having the opportunity to significantly increase the availability of devices and computing and access to the Internet and applications to low-income populations globally. All right? So this is extremely important and is an additional benefit that I don't believe we've fully explored.
So for the public sector, for government, there are all of these balancing acts, right, and I've already talked about some of these. You know, how do I, you know, provide access to information to the public, but at the same time how do I ensure security and privacy. I need to focus on internal operations but I also want to have interoperability across agents and I'll talk about that in a moment based on a survey we have. Expand services for citizens but I also I need to control my operating costs. How do I do these things? And so these are some of the advantages that data centre and cloud services can provide. So from a public policy perspective, right, governments are concerned about energy, energy costs, delivering education. Also, you know, there are public policy issues related to entertainment. Government wants to be delivering health care, smart transportation, public transportation, urban development, what we call smart and connected communities. So you have the public policy and the technologies coming together with opportunities and challenges for government use of information technology.
So this is a survey that I -- oops, went too fast. Go back. Let's see you make it go back. Ah, there we go. Okay. Thank you.
What's interesting, this was a survey of U.S. federal government chief information officers or federal government departments and agencies. Interesting, this is in 2008, so it's a little bit dated, and I think things have changed a little bit, but then 60 -- when asked the question, where am I investing in technology and where will that have the greatest impact on my performance as a CIO in government? The most important impact at that time -- and this is again only two years ago -- was interagency information sharing and collaboration, the ability of different government departments to share information. Instead of having siloed systems that don't talk to each other, government departments need to talk to each other.
Then there's security, then there was critical infrastructure, managing government and only 30% said that it would be on delivering citizen services. This is something, by the way, I think that is changing, and we were hearing this already in India, and globally delivery of citizen services is becoming much more important.
Again, I don't want to spend a lot of time on it, but what's interesting in that survey, from 2006 to 2008 the shift in attitude towards security, is my -- again, U.S. federal government agencies, is the infrastructure becoming more or less secure? In 2006-2007 they were saying it was becoming more secure. You began to see in 2008 real concerns about government infrastructure and IT assets becoming less secure.
So I've already talked about the challenges for government information technology teams, so government use of the cloud has some very specific benefits, more efficient use of IT resources, lowering the cost structure for providing products and services with capacity improvement, a shorter time to market in terms of cycle to deliver new services to citizens, improved citizen care, the ability to implement changes in responding to constituents, and a much more sustainable service model.
So these are the kinds of things that governments are using data centres and cloud and shared IT resources to improve their own internal operation as well as improve delivery of citizen services.
Let me just say a couple of things about the impact of -- the relationship between cloud and IT and some of the sustainability and environmental issues.
So one of the advantages -- by the way, nothing is -- you're going to hear this from Heather, there was a study done recently in Canada. Using data centres and cloud computing does save energy as compared to traditional IT investments in infrastructures of putting computers on every desktop, on having low utilization of equipment, so that having a greater utilization, greater efficiency and utilization of the existing resources, having higher load and capacity utilization in those efficiency do lead to lower energy consumption on a per-user basis.
However, there are more users, which is a good thing, not a bad thing. So you want to have more users benefiting from the -- from IT, but you at the same time want to reduce the energy consumption on a per-user basis. So there are these efficiency. And that's extremely important.
Second, remote working made possible by cloud services. So, for example, the people who are attending this week on-line using WebEx. You know, I know they would prefer to be here, but one of the silver linings in the cloud, if you will, to mix metaphors, of not being here but being able to participate using WebEx and the cloud services in WebEx is that, you know, they do not -- they have not created a carbon footprint by traveling. So, for example, a trip between Melbourne, Australia, and Auckland, New Zealand, would produce three kilograms per person of carbon dioxide. However, using even high-definition video conferencing, which we call telepresence, between the same locations in Melbourne and Auckland would reduce carbon dioxide to only 5 kilograms. So 300 to 5 kilograms per person between Auckland and Melbourne. And as you begin to use this services and have substitution with WebEx and these services globally, you have significant reduction in carbon.
In addition, one of the things that you have, which the U.K. has done, which I think is a great example, is you have actually a reduction in electronic waste, because if you're having the consolidation and you don't have as many desktop computers and all of the associated equipment to support them on-site and you move to the cloud and you have simpler devices and fewer devices supporting that, you actually have less electronic waste.
So I will just stop there for the moment because I know that we're going to get into many more of these issues and then pass it along. Thank you, Arthur.
>> ARTHUR MICKOLEIT: Thank you, Robert. Thanks for this presentation, and -- oh, now, there's a challenge. Robert said it's on a per-user basis we achieve higher efficiencies using some of these technologies, cloud computing but also others, but on a global basis we're adding more users, and Robert says it, it's great. We're connecting more users, and we heard it from the Indian example. There are aims and the purpose is to allow more people to connect, not only to government services but also as I do with my mobile phone, to the drop box which is somewhere in the cloud. So these are the issues that we're talking about, the ones that allow us to benefit from cloud computing.
At the same time, yes, we have to work with environmental impacts, and a couple of them were mentioned already. Before we turn to Heather's presentation, which really looks at possibilities to make data centres which power the clouds, to make these data centres zero-emissions, that is a grand challenge I would say, before we turn to that, let me just give you three slides so that we're all on the same page. Take this as an intermission to what we heard so far. In order to focus our minds on the environmental impacts and talk about this, when we talk about ICTs in very general terms, these are (off microphone) these are energy use of ICT equipment and production and so on and so forth.
Then we go further down sort of in the hierarchy -- or we go further up in the hierarchy, actually towards enabling impacts, smart applicables, telework has been mentioned, other possibilities in the energy sector and so on are there and are being realized slowly, and they are being very impactful. And finally you have ICTs as drivers of wide socioeconomic change which means connecting people, changing the ways we live, we work and telework is just one example of those.
So how does the cloud fit in there? Well, let me show you this graph, which is -- well, this is the energy use of data centres globally, and this is a study by -- done by Kumi in the United States, but it looks like global data centre energy use. And it has double between 2000 and 2005. You don't have to be a magician to understand that this will double again towards 2010, and these are data centres that include servers in smaller companies, in bigger companies, in large organisations and governments, and I think one interesting fact to take away, apart from the fact that it has doubled in the past five years, is that only about half of the energy that we use for powering data centres actually goes towards the IT, the information technology.
The other half go towards cooling, so there are a lot of technologies out there to try to work with -- work out how data centres -- how service can be made more efficient, that means more efficient processors, these are technologies called virtualization or consolidation, and they involve software solutions to make ten server processes on one real machine, actually one power or one server that is being powered. There are things like -- this may be dated but there are models of how servers are distributed physically, not in a room somewhere in the cellar but on containers on ships. One day we'll have them on the moon, I don't know if that's better or not. And finally we have more ways of distributing the networks between data centres.
Oh, here's a thought, and I would like to be able to discuss that a little bit further and I will finish with the slide. So we have the individual server, and we have millions, probably, billions of servers and more around the world, and they can be improved on their individual level. That means through power management, through efficient components and others.
Now, finally we go to the data centre where we (off microphone) these servers and create efficiencies there. These have been mentioned by Robert. And what happens if the cloud comes in? We have data centres all around the world in private/public organisations, and they can be moved into the cloud so that you have actually cloud computing operators, be they public or private, and these cloud computing operators are efficient enough and effective enough to actually make many of these data centres obsolete.
This is systemic change that we can see through cloud computing. Can we have leaner and greener IT infrastructures, not only in government departments but also in other -- in businesses and everywhere else. Can we see this through cloud computing? And with this I would turn towards Heather and her presentation on zero-emissions data centres.
>> HEATHER CREECH: Good morning, everyone. First of all, my apologies for being late. I was actually double-booked, and I will have to leave shortly after I've given my presentation. So I leave it to Arthur to decide whether to entertain questions after my presentation before I leave.
Let me give you a little bit of background to this study. I heard a great expression this morning about as operational fantasy -- aspirational fantasies and I think this was a testing of those aspirational fantasy and a reality check. We received (off microphone) from CANARIE. It's basically the fiberoptic network that connects universities across the country. Very sophisticated, very well established, very effective. They have launched a green IT programme, and we were asked to look at the possibility of the business case for building a zero -- zero emission, zero carbon data centre through a relocation process. So many of you will have heard this idea that perhaps there could be great savings in taking a data centre, moving it to a remote location where natural cooling is possible and there would be access immediately to renewable energy resources, and that this could all be financed through carbon credits.
So we set out to test this idea. The report itself will be published on our Web site either later today or tomorrow. This really is a late-breaking study for us. We've been working on it for about six months. We reviewed the findings with CANARIE a few weeks ago and we're just about ready to post the results. I should say this is part of a larger body of work that my team is doing at IISD related to the connection between ICTs the Internet and sustainable development, and you will see at our booth here and around the corridors a report that we've released lately on our explanation about how to bridge these two domains more effectively.
So let me start with the scope of this investigation. We were tasked with assessing the feasibility of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and generating carbon offsets by the relocation or modification of university ICT assets, leveraging the fiberoptic network. So again, basic idea was can we take university data centre, move it to a remote location where it can have a zero carbon footprint, leverage the fiberoptic network of CANARIE to create a seamless access to the data centre from the university, a then finally underwrite it through carbon credits that could be secured through the reduction of emissions.
We looked at three Canadian university data centres, the University of Alberta, the University of Ottawa and Dalhousie University, and we followed the ISO standard for carbon footprint calculations and we followed the proposed Canadian pricing regime in which prices would be capped at $15 per ton. Now, that in itself is a huge open question, even just within Canada we don't really have a cap and trade system yet. We're waiting to find out what the United States is going to do. The price of carbon has been falling. This has all been put into question because of the failure of the Copenhagen negotiations to come up with a post-Kyoto region. The $15 a ton is a cap and it's used in Alberta where right now there is the only real carbon mark right now in Canada. So that was our first major assumption, was that you could get as much as $15 a ton. Even that is unrealistic at the moment.
So option No. 1, put it in the north, build it from scratch, build a renewable energy generator and go from there. And here's what we found. For the University of Ottawa the carbon credits available, in other words, the CO2 equivalent tons that would be displaced, 2,200 from the University of Alberta, 11,000 from Dalhousie, 9,500 from the University of Alberta. The annual carbon credit revenues that would be available are in chart, and the net present value is a negative one, hugely negative one, because of all the related costs for actually building these from scratch in the first place.
So the basic message here is that making $300,000 of carbon credits is no nearly going to off write the cost of building a zero carbon data centre. So this was our first major reality check on all of this. When the report comes out the data will be much more detailed in the report. This is just the summary view, but very sobering.
So we then looked at a second option, and rather than build a data centre from scratch in the far north -- oh, and I should add that one of the problems was the redundancy factor, that CANARIE would have to extend its fiberoptic line into the location, but it would have to build in for redundancy. In case the one connection failed, they'd have to have a second backup system there, and in the end this just is not feasible, at least for universities data centres in Canada.
So the second option was to look at relocating a data centre in another urban centre, in provinces with low emission electrical grids. Some of you may be familiar with the mix of energy options in Canada. In some provinces they are quite reliant on coal-fired generators. In Ontario there's a mix of nuclear, hydro and coal. On the East Coast we go back to coal. There's some natural gas in there as well. So the idea would be to go to a province where the low emission electrical grid would be hydro. That would be predominantly Quebec, man I to and Ontario. Secondly, where the heat from the waste data centre could be reused. If we went to a remote centre, there would be no place for the waste heat to go. The idea was that you try to reduce the need for cooling through natural cooling, but nevertheless, there's still an excess heat, and there is no -- there would be no other use for that waste heat in a remote facility. So this idea was to put it in a location where the waste heat could actually be reused.
And again, a net -- a negative net present value, so in other words, the carbon credits that could be secured from this, again, simply don't offset the actual cost of running and managing these things.
So the business case, it is premise that this -- the premise that this could be underwritten through carbon credits simply is not there.
Finally, we looked at a third option, where you leave the data centre where it is, but simply modify it to make better use of capturing and utilizing the waste heat. In that scenario one university out of the three might actually have a positive net present value by going down this road, and that was the University of Alberta. Now, I should add that there is another underlying assumption here, and that is that data centres actually could even claim credits to begin with, and this is not clear in the trading regime. If the decision is that the credits are only available to the utilities but not to the users of the power because of a double counting problem, this may all be an aspirational fantasy.
So at the end of this investigation we thought, well, this is interesting, you know, we just spent $100,000 disapproving hypothesis. We really thought that we should come back to CANARIE with something that perhaps had at least a sign of a positive message. So we started to think about a fourth option, and that is to collocate, or consolidate multiple university data centres in a green community cloud configuration. So this is the idea that universities would no longer operate their own controlled data centres, that they would begin to rationalize their resources in community cloud and that that community cloud would then be built with greater energy efficiency, use of waste heat and so forth.
We didn't -- we -- again, the carbon credit option for this simply doesn't fly, but we felt that there are other benefits to doing this besides the business incentive for doing it. The shared services, particularly around high performance computing we felt was particularly keen. We've been in a situation in Canada where a number of universities have received investments in high performance computing for super-computers. They're simply, seriously, underutilized. Purchase a super-computer for one project for a couple of years and then it will sit idle. You'll have three or four of these super-computers across the country that are simply underutilized. So going to a community cloud makes better sense in terms of rationalizing resources.
The idea too would be to put them in locations where there's a low electricity grid emissions intensity, high power usage efficiency, maximum reuse of waste energy and minimizing the impact on the local environment in construction of these.
So our final finding was that while the economy -- economics for generating revenue by a carbon credits is generally not attractive, a green community cloud, which could be operated and administered by a CANARIE has numerous other benefits and might be economically beneficial.
A couple of policy implications and opportunities that we explored. The first is, as I mentioned, potential solutions for fragmented or underutilized IT assets, but secondly, a much more interesting idea for shared repositories for publicly funded research. Again, in Canada, we don't have a central data archive for all of the publicly funded research that's done at individual institutions. The data is held at the university, and I should add often it's not even held in the university data centre. There are real challenges at universities with individual faculties, building out their own IT closets that aren't part of the overall data centre. We had a very interesting conversation at the University of Alberta where they felt in the data centre that they didn't even know where all of the computer facilities were across the campus. They were running something like 46 different email systems that had emerged through various legacy activities. The fragmentation of this was significant.
In moving to a green community cloud it provides an opportunity to actually bring data together and that there are significant advances for -- advantages for research and innovation going down that road. Second it for -- in Canada -- provincial. Most of the funding comes through provincial budgets so in this context it's an opportunity for the provinces to actually push for a green community clouds through the council of ministers of education, Canada. But there needs to be coordination, a policy coordination at that level for this to take place. I'm going to have to ask the cameraman to move because he's in the way of the screen and I can't see it.
What was also interesting was that our findings we felt reinforced some of the observations that came through from the OECD technology foresight forum last year. Policy solutions must be cross-jurisdictional, while a green community cloud in Canada in the university sector is going to have to be cross-jurisdictional because of this idea of it being under the purview of the provinces. Not always easy to determine who's responsible for what. Well, as you can imagine, trying to get universities to cooperate with each other has always been an interesting exercise, and managing a shared cloud is going to be equally interesting. It's certainly a feather in CANARIE's hat that they were able to build a fiberoptic network at universities. I'm sure that was fraught with jurisdictional issues to build that.
And then finally, because the cloud technology and cloud applications have all quickly policy for government has to be adaptable and flexible.
So as far as implications for the Canadian federal government go, we are in the midst of a review of a digital economy strategy. There's been a series of public consultations on this. Canada would very much like to build out a world-class digital infrastructure, and we see a green community clouds for the research sector to be a major opportunity to demonstrate some leadership in this field. But the Canadian government will have to assess systemically the public policy issues around cloud computing, the impact on ICT adoption by small and medium size enterprises, potential to improve efficiency and effectiveness of government as in India, and ICT sector. I think I'll conclude at that point. As I say, it's a very interesting study. The conversations that we've heard many times about whether one could tap into the carbon market to underwrite this, clearly problematic, but certainly many other opportunities that have merit.
>> ARTHUR MICKOLEIT: Thank you very much, Heather, and I believe the study is available, or will be available shortly?
>> HEATHER CREECH: Yeah, should be available end of today or tomorrow morning on our Web site.
>> ARTHUR MICKOLEIT: Heather Creech, thank you very much. You're making my moderating task very easy by making a perfect bridge to one of the discussions I will introduce in a second. So Heather, if you can bear with us for a second. I know you have to leave, but it might be interesting to make a connection with one panelists I'm very pleased to have, Laura Dzelzyte, climate change advisor to Lithuania's Minister of Environment, and I think I would like to ask her, she's on the far left and I'm really sorry that Heather Creech is on the far right. And she's on the far right --
>> HEATHER CREECH: I'm never on the far right.
>> LAURA DZELZYTE: I'm never on the far left, actually.
>> ARTHUR MICKOLEIT: Let's not start a political discussion. (laughter). We have enough to discuss with cloud computing already. It's great, Heather, that you mentioned the carbon credits, and I think if -- just -- just so we have one or two points. You mentioned 15 U.S. dollars per ton as a carbon point.
>> HEATHER CREECH: Canadian dollars.
>> ARTHUR MICKOLEIT: Canadian dollars. Still, we saw from your presentation this is too little to power or to fund these data centres. Where we have a great idea here. We have an emerging issue, a big trend, which is cloud computing will need more data centres to connect people of the world, be it in India or be it in Canada, that means connect people to government services, connect people to business services, connect people within -- or between themselves also. So the challenges, of course that we will need more data centres.
From intuitive viewpoint it would be perfect to have those as close as possible to renewable energy sources, so we deal with a problem very much upstream, namely where the energy is generated to power these data centres. But we see two big problems with this. One is the business case, which apparently for the moment, and with the prices or the pricing regime that is being proposed, is lacking, so that means cloud computing operators who want to turn their cloud computing businesses or universities that want to turn their data centre into a green data centre, have too high costs and cannot buy these back through carbon credit schemes or through carbon revenues.
Now, the second point I understood is the problem is the uncertainty who will be able to get those carbon credits. Is it going to be the utilities? Then of course cloud computing operating, data centre operators don't have the incentive to build these green data centres near renewable energy sources. And if Laura -- if you could maybe give us a couple of viewpoints from environmental policy maker perspective. What are the issues with these carbon trading schemes? Do these issues that we're talking about now, cloud computing, very technical of course, but do these resound with environmental policy makers? Do these resound with negotiators in the global climate change discussions?
>> LAURA DZELZYTE: Can you hear me well? Great. Well, thank you very much for inviting me, I guess. That's the -- I'm sorry I'm late. It's a matter of advisers being actually not accountable for everything but they're always late because they always have to be (off microphone). The question is very interesting. I am the head of delegation for Lithuania in international climate change negotiations, and this question has been raised. How can we actually tap into the possibilities of ensuring the quality and access to information, and looking from the environmental perspective at the IT, what can it provide us. And it's interesting that it was mentioned last year in Copenhagen, as you know we were trying to have a deal on the climate change last year but we didn't manage to have one.
And for some reason this whole idea of IT being part of a solution but also, you know, part of the problem, as it is, kind of a washed away, and as I was talking to people here I was saying that maybe we should raise that question again, and what some of the businesses have done, because from what we see from this presentation that Heather gave us is that there is a necessity of the appropriate financing for the solutions to be found. However, it's very expensive, and carbon trading might not be a solution. So therefore we need regulation.
Regulation won't appear just like that. It has to be international regulation. And one of the ideas and I thought -- I just read very quickly what is presented as recommendations by the council, is to raise that question in international negotiations for climate change, but some of the business did last year, they kind of submitted their proposals, and it was I think -- it was a Cambridge business, green initiative or whatever it was, with what do we need. Because a lot of times negotiators or regulators, we don't know what would be the good solution. We don't know what you need, and, you know, what relevant policies would help you to implement the things that you could help us to sort out the environment, if you like.
The one thing that's trying to address the point of financing. Now, I am working with carbon trading and I must say it's practically impossible. I don't see that happening as a solution for financing for the next five years, that's for sure, but the solutions need to come up now, and there are all sorts of other things that can come in as part of a financing solutions, and this is from world bank to other international institutions, or even taking it back to Eastern Europe or Europe, European bank for reconstruction and redevelopment, where financing for soft loans, things like that where you don't pay an interest. It's low, it can be paid over years of time. It's a very good question for financing the solutions that are good for the environment, and a lot of the times the interesting thing I get to work with is that those banks need to account, if it is an environmental initiative, whatever it is, they can give money quicker and easier and for less percent, so that's one of the things.
But then going back to the proposition, so one thing, you know, maybe it would be worth writing a note or statement, international climate change policies, and the starting point, you know, if I could, then I'll work from your perspective, I guess, to try to tap into United Nations climate change Secretariat and say, you know, guys, can we talk about this? You know, what can you do for us? And make it part of the global deal. Because this is very important. What I see and imagine now from the presentations that I heard is that these are solutions that, you know -- you try to centralize it and it's sort of the way, because this is how you reuse the consumption, the energy, you ensure the efficiency and all the rest of the things. It has to be part of an international thing.
And so I guess that's -- that's kind of the insights that I've -- I can make, as much as I can, being (off microphone), if you like, but if you have any questions I would be happy to share some ideas with you. Thank you.
>> ARTHUR MICKOLEIT: Laura, thank you very much, Laura. And yeah, I'll continue this discussion briefly, but in the meantime I want to say also to the floor and to our participants in the Web audience, think about questions you want to ask because I'll be right back with you in a second. I see people from the U.K. nodding their head already. (laughter) But if there's others, please think about questions, we'll be right back with taking your questions.
The issues that Laura raised, carbon financing might not be efficient and around the corner for data centres: Loans were mentioned, and -- this is something that I will maybe in a moment ask maybe also Robert and Heather to talk about this very quickly. This is something -- also our person from India to see if these loans can be actually utilized to implement some of these green data centres. Another issue that Laura mentioned is working with the United Nations climate change secretary, and we have been doing that in the run up to the climate change negotiations in Copenhagen, together with the ITU. The usual thing, of course, side events and the usual information and so on.
But I think we also need to be aware that there are big elephants in the room. The cloud computing providers are not the coal industry, the steel industry that generates these massive emissions so we're not talking about the same scales here, but I think we're talking about an industry that is ready to accept that there are emissions generated from its activities, but it's also looking -- since it's -- we're talking about the ICT sector, we're talking about everything we're using today, Google, Cisco System applications may be more in the background than the foreground, Microsoft and all the others.
So this is something that we're using every day and these technologies help us in a variety of ways. They are very (off microphone) and many of these countries are naive in looking to solutions for the waste generated, along the supply chains, and of using cloud computing as we said -- and Heather mentioned this example, of finding ways of getting -- consolidating infrastructure so we don't need that many to run the same -- to run the same operations. And so since I just mentioned the ITU and what we did at the climate change negotiations, I will turn it over to Christine and then maybe we can come back to the loans discussion in a second.
>> CRISTINA BUETI: Can you hear me? Can you hear me? I'm going back for a moment to the intervention that was made by the climate adviser. It's very interesting that you mentioned the fact that, you know -- that ICT is also about the solution. That's the message, because we have the work as ITU because actually ITU is the only U.N. agencies that -- we had 190 countries as members of the states, but we have (off microphone) sector members so we work very closely with industry, and actually we are ready to provide solutions. The problem is how, and the difficulty that we are facing within the U.N. SCC process, and we have also worked as hard to mention, for ICT, we organized a couple of side events, we actually specifically ITU last year organized 16 sessions at the ICT (off microphone) about the possible solutions on the different pillars of the (off microphone) framework, so from other mitigation to monitoring.
That's where I think we have to work together because I think there is a breach that needs to be filled, and also, I believe that there is a problem between (off microphone) what (off microphone) can do. Because (off microphone) is providing Secretariat so they're not tasked as a union agency to provide solutions. So you can ask, you can ask us, ITU as well as other colleagues from (off microphone) which we work closely with, as well as with WIPO, you need actually all the union system is contributing to this process, as well as the (off microphone), and certainly (off microphone) and we have also (off microphone) some policy messages in that respect.
Last year sent a message from the -- (off microphone) and sector members to the negotiators, but the problem is there are so many messages that you know some of them, they get lost in the universe NICC negotiations. So I guess one of the possibilities that we may think investigate, at least for future negotiations in China, is to have specifically briefing for heads of delegation on the possibility that ICT can offer, and I mention again ICT because it's broader than IT and also it includes all sorts of solutions.
And it's true that, you know, the ICT (off microphone) contributed to create emissions but they have enormous capacity to reduce emissions and that's something that we hope that you will take it (off microphone) as well as with your colleagues. Thank you.
>> ARTHUR MICKOLEIT: Thank you, Cristina, and yes, it's been great working towards the United Nations climate change conference in Denmark, because of course we saw a lot of these initiatives from different industry sectors, from different organisations taking off and people being there and promoting their cause, and ICTs. There was a -- there was also I believe operated by Cisco together with the United Nations which allowed teleconferencing presentations, so we had these in the process together with the ITU. We had them with colleagues from India, with -- colleagues from Japan. We had discussions there at the conference. But it's a long process and so there's still a way to go.
Maybe for a very short -- yeah, this is not over yet. We still have half an hour. This is great, so let me just ask for two very brief interventions by our speakers from Cisco and Microsoft, on the question that Laura raised from the Ministry of Environment. The loans or the financing mechanisms, you're working in industry. You work either as cloud computing operators, with them, you work with governments, also looking at how to implement these cloud computing, how to implement these data centres, how to get them out there in the field. What are the considerations so far with the people who build their data centres? Are these environmental considerations coming in and are these loans, for example, from climate change funds or other means? Are these being taken into account when trying to get data centres greener, cloud computing greener?
Yeah, first Deepak from Microsoft and then Cisco. Very briefly your thoughts on that.
>> DEEPAK MAHESHWARI: As we heard earlier what happens is (off microphone) paradigm itself. What's happening is it's dependent on two basic premises. One is the powerful (off microphone) devices and second is smarter is (off microphone) running the data centres (off microphone) devices. The fact is yes, on one hand when you have this (off microphone) that if there are less number of equipment (off microphone) ultimately the user and also (off microphone) device. And this device in turn needs to connect back with the data centres, and with other devices to the (off microphone). And in that scenario what we need to look at, what is the condition of our data centres, what is the condition of power at (off microphone) other devices, and also the network itself, to the network that actually transfers the information from one end to the other and how all these things are happening.
Now, one of the things much before the cloud computing itself came about, almost five years back, we actually worked with a small (off microphone) cluster in India, which is the largest exporter of textiles (off microphone). And what we observed there was on one hand, excess for the IT sector at that point in time, and even today to a great extension, the adoption of IT and utilization of IT across other industries extremely low. And although there's a desire to do it, they had a challenge in terms of manpower.
They also had a challenge in terms of the security. They also had a challenge in terms of (off microphone) and other types of issues. What we did, we worked with the industry associations. One of the things which was mentioned earlier by Bob, in terms of a community cloud, so what we did was something like that (off microphone) we actually set up a small data server in the association office, because it also had to be a neutral place. It could not be in one of the industry operators (off microphone). So what we did, we put up a data server there. We developed applications with the local operator, who could understand the applications in the sector of the textile industry in that region, and that's something which worked very well.
So today those people are -- some of the places that they were taking approximately a month to do something, today they are in a position to do it in three or four days in terms of (off microphone) efficiencies. The other thing we did was we did not restrict (off microphone) only to the computers. What we did was -- because many of these people are mobile phone. So some of the smaller units, the way the (off microphone) was done was on one hand there was a server but we also developed applications using a simple text message (inaudible) could be (off microphone). So for example if somebody gives an order to do something else to do a dying process in red color they are person would get the message on the mobile phone itself and from there they'd get this type of response. That's one of the things that's been done.
Second thing is in the government space. Dr. Govind mentioned about (off microphone) in the country and one of the things that the government is doing is establishing a data centre in each and every state, government. Now (off microphone) seven territories (off microphone) apart from the fact that there are going to be (off microphone) data centres for some of those -- at the federal government level. And some of the departments, like income tax and some of the others, they've already established their data centres. One of the important things from cloud computing perspective is this, if you are consolidating these type of investments (off microphone) the number one, they can't (off microphone) demand, and of course you can have (off microphone) systems as a -- as you mentioned even from (off microphone) in terms of the consolidation of the options.
But other important opportunity that arises here is in the case of disaster management. For example, if you have one data centre in the north and if you have another one in the south, in another state can these be (off microphone) so that in case something goes wrong here this can be used in a virtualized manner from the other data centre. So I would say in the government space people should look at these set of opportunities also, that is other than just looking in your own state or own (off microphone) or own university, you look at these types of opportunities also. Thank you.
>> ARTHUR MICKOLEIT: Okay. Thanks, Deepak, for these few -- and I'll immediately turn it over to Robert from Cisco Systems, just the question, is carbon financing or carbon loans -- is this a viable alternative in the short-term for data centre operators for cloud computing providers, for cloud computing intermediaries also to utilize some of these funds to actually build these green data centres.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: The key to your question is in the near term, and I agree with Laura. In the near term I think this is a real challenge. It's not going to happen. It's something that we can work towards. The difficulty is that the systems are not actually in place. Heather's studying is extremely important because it provides real data. Real data inform us. But there are -- as Heather pointed out, other really important policy decisions and strategies to minimize environmental impacts as we build into play data centres. So, for example, the great underutilization of data centre that she pointed out is an issue globally, and if there can be a coordination/cooperation among especially in public sector universities, relying more on large, you know, corporate share data centres that allow for greater efficiencies in utilization that actually significantly reduce the environmental impact per user, even if -- and at the same time that we get many more -- millions more users, which is the goal.
So how do we minimize the per-user impact while we increase users? And just recognize that there will be a cost to do that. And actually a lot of the solution there -- I like the way Laura raised this -- actually deal with people. So one of the things that we have to recognize about data centre, we've already heard some of this here this week, is every country wants a data centre because they think it's going to bring jobs. It's not just every country. It's every province, it's every city, right? And, you know, data centres do bring jobs and they are a high-valued jobs, but if every city or province has its own data centres -- we lose the efficiencies and we increase the environmental impact. We have to be smart about this, right? And though everybody wants one, not everybody -- I mean, everybody could have one, but it would be inefficient, it would be costly in terms of investment and there would be a larger environmental impact. We can actually, if we do this in a smart coordinated way, reduce the cost, reduce the environmental impact and dramatically improve the per-user environmental impact, which can go down dramatically, really dramatically, and then we can add millions of users.
So this is a good thing, but it's a people issue. It's a governance issue, it's a coordination/cooperation issue, and that's why I think it's so important to recognize that, and Laura, I thought that was a really important point.
>> ARTHUR MICKOLEIT: Okay. Thanks, Robert. And people, let me talk about -- oh, let me just say, in Trinidad and Tobago, if I am right, there are a bit over a million people, is that right? So let us hear the view from Tracy Hackshaw who works for the Trinidad and Tobago government of these issues. Especially the last one. Robert mentioned it, data centres and cloud computing, it will be everywhere, and if we talk about large companies such as India, we have them at the federal government, we go down further to towns and municipalities and everything, every university, every school. And how does this work in Tobago? What are some of the environmental considerations that you are taking account when operating your government's IT infrastructure, including the data centre and how does the cloud come in? So can you tell us about this very briefly, please, Tracy.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Sure. As he said, I represent Tobago, but I also like to have the discussion -- I represent a small (off microphone) state. 52 countries (off microphone) numbers, 14 manual numbers, 48 million people, GP (off microphone) billion, so we do have some impacts on those (off microphone) two countries. We are very vulnerable to effects of climate change. So I'd like to take the discussion not from the (off microphone) but from the other direction. That we are -- effects can be affected by climate change as opposed to trying to (off microphone). If you recall Haiti, not climate change but (off microphone) people died in one minute in Haiti this week. Tsunami in the Solomon Islands -- the entire island was wiped by a hurricane. Cloud computing in our states is almost necessary. It's necessary. We are small countries, small size, resources are limited, very limited (off microphone) capacity (off microphone) we need things like cloud computing, we need help from Microsoft, from Cisco, from Amazon. (off microphone) they're very limited by -- by pipelines.
In some companies their extracting from the laboratory sources and data centres income will drain the resources rapidly. So we need to look at how can we get cloud computing resources from outside country. (off microphone) income (off microphone) so we look at is there a larger country in our region, can we utilize the resources across the region. So (off microphone) 20 odd nations, should we have 20 odd data centres or one data centre share across the entire region. However, that's geographically difficult in all states.
We'd like to hear from the audience at some point what they think about (off microphone) directions, so in terms of how we sit as a small developing state, how we need the cloud to actually see ourselves, so as we (off microphone) affected by climate change, we'd like to hear about that. Thank you.
>> ARTHUR MICKOLEIT: Thanks, Tracy. This is very interesting, and I'll just get back to you in a second. This is a very, very important issue, of course, as you say. It's not only about affecting climate change but about being affected by climate change, so this is why I believe many of the issues that we're talking here about reducing the impacts of ICT infrastructures are very important because they contribute to the discussion about how to deal with climate change.
And the other issue that Tracy just mentioned is very important, of course, Tobago is a country that maybe lacks resources in the -- I don't know about IT infrastructures or IT personally in Tobago, I have to admit, but I imagine any country that is 1 million inhabitants and has -- has certain challenges to deal with getting the infrastructures running, operating them efficiently and so on, so forth, so there might be efficiency using cloud computing where some of these infrastructures might not have been to be maintained.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: I'd like to also mention that 1 million (off microphone), small, but 1,000 people in one country.
>> ARTHUR MICKOLEIT: I believe it's -- yes, this is great. This is why we're very happen to have this very diverse round of people with different viewpoints. Deepak, if you have a very quick comment then I will ask very quick a question from the audience and I'll turn also to my colleague Christian for a final and very brief presentation on green IT policies.
>> CHRISTIAN R. KOUNATZE: Couple. One is in as he just mentioned. Job creation opportunities. I think job creation opportunities within the cloud is not so important as for people to think what job opportunities can cloud create across the sectors.
What's happening, there's a lot of talk about how green you can (off microphone) for example, like Heather mentioned, establish data centres in Dublin, which is a country (off microphone) you saw (off microphone) and those sorts of things and it's using natural air to cooling. But I think more important than that, what's important is where else these things are creating efficiencies in places like steel or (off microphone) that Arthur was mentioning. There was an IT study last year that established on one hand the IT sectors (off microphone) carbon footprint set to increase, but if it is being used especially through the cloud in a smart manner as Bob mentioned, then it can actually reduce the overall carbon footprint by approximately 15 (off microphone) and I think that is a big point.
And the other thing to respond to what Tracy mentioned is I think it's important for countries to realise that cost (off microphone), because after all if you're having (off microphone) countries or for example anywhere else, if you have data centres there but data flows across the borders, I think people also need to look at in the government, how they look at the data flow itself and what the principles are applied there. Thank you.
>> ARTHUR MICKOLEIT: Okay. Thanks. Are there any questions so far from the participants? Let me take the two -- yeah, maybe the two ones that raised their hand first. I believe -- yeah, yeah, just here in the second row, purple shirt. There's a mic coming around, I believe. If you could identify yourself.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes, I'm virtual policy network and I guess (off microphone) wearing stylish shoes. I'm maintaining anonymity in virtual concepts. I guess I'd like on the panel to actually answer the question as to how green is, like now, the Internet cloud? As it seems to me from what's being said, and particularly what Mr. Pepper said, that we're basically using the same types of technology in a slightly different way. So when is the cloud going to be greener? Because the thing we have to take into account, current build-outs, disposal costs of infrastructure buildings, et cetera. So is it going to be in the next year? The next five years? The next ten years? Will there actually be a revolution in technology? So I'm wondering if the cloud is in any way greener whatsoever.
>> ARTHUR MICKOLEIT: Okay. Well, thanks. We'll take the second question from the -- the man in the white shirt on the other side of the room.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: One of the advantages --
>> ARTHUR MICKOLEIT: If you could introduce yourself briefly.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: My name is John, I'm with Freedom House, and so one of the advantages of these forms that we get to bridge between policy and technology, and while this has been a mostly kind of a technology-based, I have some policy questions. The gentleman from Cisco mentioned that one of the advantages of cloud computing is easier control and regulation of content, not necessarily per computer.
You talked about privacy and like protecting children issues as an example you gave, which kind of caught my ear. So if you can expand on that, on cloud computing, providing access to low-income communities through cloud computing, would there indeed be options of controlling what those people could access. If you could clarify that point that you made briefly.
And another interesting question I think arises from all of this is who's responsible for the content on cloud computing? Because in many countries in the world we're finding stricter and stricter intermediary responsibility. And so if you would create a community cloud, who's responsible for the content on that? And both legally and maybe even technically, like who can place the content, who controls that content?
>> ARTHUR MICKOLEIT: Well, these are very far-reaching questions. Let me just -- I mean, the question from (off microphone) on how green is the international cloud I think is something we can answer. Since we're 15 minutes from the end of the session, I don't think we can actually devil into the Internet intermediary questions, but I would like to direct you to the workshop this afternoon which is directly about the questions you raised, Internet intermediaries and they're all on the Internet.
I'm afraid since we're 15 minutes away we can't open the box of privacy and who owns the content right now, so I'd rather prefer to focus on the environmental issues. But my colleagues, the OECD and as well the government will talk about intermediary issues very, very largely this afternoon and I'm happy to give you all the details for that. So maybe just briefly, rob, how green is the Internet cloud?
>> ROBERT PEPPER: We're talking about data centre, are we now seeing improvements of the short answer is yes, dramatic improvements. So what you -- again, there are data centres that were built five years ago, data centres that are being built a year ago and data centres that are designed and being put in place today. The technology that's being deployed in each generation is becoming greener.
So, for example, we have an energy efficient data centre that -- architecture that's now being deployed with a storage asset utilization that's up to 70%, so it's significantly reducing through the consolidation of the data centre the per-usage cost of energy. So we're now seeing, for example, a 90% efficiency on air-conditioning when the centres are loaded up at 60% or higher, whereas in the past the air-conditioning -- the cooling efficiencies were much, much lower. So it's the generation. Each generation, in every data centre, you know, technology company that's deploying, you know, we're all deploying greener data centres today. The real question is what about the legacy centres, how difficult is it to bring those up, how fast are they being retired as the demands are increasing on those centres, how are they being replaced.
But the new technologies and the new centres that are being built are much, much greener and the efficiencies are increasing, you know, quite significantly.
>> ARTHUR MICKOLEIT: Okay. Well, regarding the question from Freedom House, and I'm really sorry I have to direct the whole question itself to the Internet intermediaries, but let's talk policy for a moment, because affair all, the title of this workshop is cloud computing for leaner and greener infrastructures, IT infrastructures, government is really in the highlight. So a brief intermission from the OECD, who has looked at government ICT policies and how governments are actually using policies to make ICTs greener, for applications, shows one or maybe two trends of what is happening and then maybe raising a final question about what are government policies in this area. So Christian, I'll turn it over to you. Tracy, would you give us the beeper, please? Thanks.
>> CHRISTIAN R. KOUNATZE: Thank you. Yes, as I also said, I will talk about Green ICT policies focusing on cloud computing, and this is more of a result of an analysis that we did last year, which is published in this report here. You can find in the back. So that's why I won't -- I won't go -- also because we don't have so much time I won't go into detail.
So I have talked already about the direct effects of ICTs, which is supposed to be between 3 -- 2 and 3% of global carbon footprint, and -- but there are also enabling effects. I won't talk about that, but I think this slide is more important and interesting because it shows actually where the priorities of OECD governments are regarding Green ICT policies. And one can see that R&D programmes are supporting innovation is high on the agenda but also the diffusion of Green ICT amount across the society.
And it is interesting to know that when we look at cloud computing, we see that government acting as lead user, one of the ways government promotes cloud computing, but also of course R&D programmes, which brings us to the question that was raised about how to promote those solutions for the environment. But also still an issue.
This slide is also interesting because it shows us where the impacts are, where the environmental impacts are where government are focusing on, and it shows that government -- OECD government -- not only OECD government, also focusing primarily on the energy use of ICTs, including cloud computing, but there are other environmental impacts, such as land use. In particular when we think about data centres, they use a lot of water for cooling, but also they use a lot of land where they're going to be placed. So this is impacts one has to consider while looking at cloud computing.
This slide is also interesting because it shows us compared to the other one that this is the direct impacts and here look at the enabling impacts. That shows that most government are looking at the direct impacts, so how to reduce the impact of those data centres but they are not looking into how to use those data centres or ICT to promote -- or reduce environmental impacts across the society, and I think -- I believe this is also true for cloud computing. We shouldn't always think about how to reduce the impact of cloud computing but we should also talk about how to use cloud computing to improve the environmental impacts. In particular when we discuss about how to promote ICTs in the discussion of climate change I think this perspective is very important.
So now we're -- I'm going to focus on the cloud computing specific policies, and this shows (off microphone) of OECD countries so far. It is based on the analysis we did for the (off microphone) going to be published. The -- by government acted as lead users, named already some countries that the United States and Japan, one of the ways they're promoting cloud computing.
R&D is important, security is also an important issue, and I think Robert showed that -- I actual -- they're actually looking into promoting and increasing security in the department. And of course (off microphone) is an important issue, because when we are deploying cloud computing we have to think about -- we have to think about are the people ready to use those services?
Here are just some examples. I can't go into details, but we have Japan, ubiquitous town concept which look into cloud computing. Green club computing to promote new styles of working. Teleworking has been already mentioned. We have for instance an island, strategy, stress efficient data centre in cloud computing as a critical infrastructure for the economy. And again, a data protection is a very important issue, skills are an important issue.
Sorry if I have to rush but this is actually my last slide. It shows the environmental -- the priorities of ICT policies in OECD countries, and first of all, what it shows is that environmental aspects are becoming more and more important, but it also shows that in particular in the lower table you can see that security is an important issue (off microphone) is an important issue, government owned land, eGovernment is an important issue, and you notice, if you remember, the discussion -- the previous discussions, and the topic they raised, security wasn't -- affecting or is important for cloud computing. EGovernment is important for cloud computing, broadband is important. So all of those policy area supporting and promoting the (off microphone) of cloud computing.
So if you want to know more about those policies and -- or analysis, and the report is available in the back of that room, but you can also download, of course, that report, and also I have also to mention again the OECD information technology of 2010, which is going to be published very soon. So thank you for your attention.
>> ARTHUR MICKOLEIT: Well, thank you, Christian, and I'm looking at the watch and I see that we have to wrap up the session. Nevertheless, it was a very, very interesting session with diverse viewpoints and I would like to take these final five minutes that we formally do have on the clock. Please, each of the discussions -- we heard a range of issues, from cloud computing over to environmental policies and to climate change policies.
At the end we talked about ICT policies of government, and since we're the Internet Governance Forum, this is really what we're best talking about, the Internet, the ICT policies, the ICT policy makers and we heard how government in OECD countries and maybe -- I believe also in other countries of course beyond the OECD context, and I see our delegate from Egypt is sitting in the room and I'm very happy to see her, there's a lot of initiatives in other countries outside the OECD context obviously that are focusing on ICTs for the environment and this is a very positive trend.
So now for this final round starting maybe with Laura. Laura, from the Environment Ministry, can you tell us briefly as your final thought, how does the communication work between the ministries that are responsible for information technology issues, and the environment ministry? You mentioned in the climate change organisations we should go out and talk about our work. Is this also the case in Lithuania and other countries that the ministries with the port foal I don't say for ICTs actually put the documents on the table, say ICTs have this impact but ICTs also can enable that, and what do you see should governments do to do this more actively. And then I would like to ask everybody on the panel, ask the questions, what can the governments do to do this more actively? Laura, please.
>> LAURA DZELZYTE: Thank you. Well, that was a very good question I would say. But to sum it up, I think the reality of this is that a lot of the times IT or ICT is a very difficult subject for policy makers to begin with. So the discussions really don't go deep. It's very hard to -- for us to provide solutions if we don't understand what we are talking about. So my message, I think, what I can say is improving the communications that you are communicating to the policy makers, and, you know, addressing it from a positive way, what I saw today through the discussions is that, you know, what you are creating, technologies such as cloud is our solutions to our problems and issues, such as climate change.
Instead of talking about minimizing the energy, like thinking out of the box and things like how can cloud help us to deal with the issues on the ground for various ministries. Climate change is one of them. Ministry of Agriculture is another is another one. Ministry of Communications. But we need to hear things down to earth so that we can agree and make it into policy. That's my message. Thank you.
>> ARTHUR MICKOLEIT: Down to earth is very good, the applause that comes from across the room is for you Austin. Cristina, down to earth. Please.
>> CRISTINA BUETI: I think I'll take it as a challenge. (laughter) we'll work together, the ICT (off microphone) others to -- stakeholders to produce something, even if it is a flier or a brochure that will explain in a very user-friendly way, what do we mean about ICT as part of the solution.
And another thing that I would like to add is that ITS created very recently a focus group on computing. The focus group is open to everyone. It's a good opportunity actually for both representatives from ministry of communication, Ministry of Environment (off microphone) country as well as (off microphone) ICT representative to join it. There are several -- actually there have been three meetings. The fourth one will be in December.
Pleased to say that actually Cisco is one of our vice Chairman, together with, for example, a Chairman from Russia and other representatives. So as you can see, and all stakeholders are represented but it's a good opportunity where all -- my invitation is extended to you.
And second thing is we can continue this discussion this afternoon at the dynamic meeting on Internet and climate change which will be held in room 6 from 4:30 to 6:30. But I take up the challenge and that we will prefer something that will give you an idea about what we mean for ICT solution. It's not the first time that the delegates, especially from the U.N. SEC have told me it's not very easy, but I think we can work all together with colleagues on this (off microphone) and see how we can certainly do something to combat climate change using ICT. Thank you.
>> Yes, I think one main message is that I would like to stress here is that it is very important to have evidence-based policies, and that requires, first of all, that we need some data. I think this has been already mentioned in the example of -- that has been presented by Heather, so we need -- first of all, we need data which prove that ICTs can be part of the solution. We know that but we really need some datas, on which we can build some policies.
And secondly, we need some measurement of our policies, because one of the things, which our report shows is that many policies don't have the targets and also the assessment behind those policies that shows that the policies are effective. So we need this too as a complement to the datas that has been collected and the evidence that shows that ICT policies has a real impact on improving environmental performance. Thank you.
>> ARTHUR MICKOLEIT: Dr. Govind, please, sir.
>> DR. GOVIND: Thank you. I think government facing two kinds of challenges. On the one hand they are to improve ICT (off microphone) the government, and the private sector. They have to make the (off microphone) more and more broader. More and more ICTs technologies, ICT users. From the climate point of view, while increasing users this will affect the climate in a different way. So the (off microphone) is to see that the government (off microphone) country different government departments work consolidated, cooperate and see how the (off microphone) how the various equipment could be holistically replaced in a way that it's a minimum impact on the environment. And more and more equipment, you know, which is the modern generation (off microphone) less power, on the procurement side of the government and in the private industry so that (off microphone) to see that the impact on the environment is minimized and at the same time the optimum (off microphone) of ICT is (off microphone) in the governmental and the public sector. Thank you.
>> Yeah, so I agree with everything Laura said, I think it was great. And we need to think out of the box. We need to think in a very practice way. We have to be smart and practice and fact-based. I couldn't agree more about collecting data so we make intelligent decisions. What we do not need is well-intentioned blunt regulation that actually harms innovation and is counterproductive to achieving the goal. Right? And all too often that's what we hear, and I say that as a former, you know -- sort of former government official.
Spent a long time in government, that too often the solutions that are presented by government sound good, but they're usually -- oftentimes, not always, oftentimes based on old data or old assumptions that are no longer correct. We need to think looking forward, not going backwards.
>> I would say that the countries should -- for example, in India we have a tele -- we have a separate broadband policy. There's no central policy. One of the things I would say is it's important for the governments to actually think about having an integrated (off microphone) of ICT policy. That's one thing. But this should actually look at enabling inclusive. It could (off microphone) development in the country. So you did hear (off microphone) economic growth you but if you look at the granular thing it's quite disparate in terms of the type of -- type of (off microphone) in one area, with another area, demographics with something else.
And after all, I would say that it should also take into account not only the current state of affairs in (off microphone) technology and other types of things as Bob was just mentioning, but the policy itself should have a realtime feedback mechanism, so that you can keep on taking the things, so for example (off microphone) we see those things moving much faster (off microphone) et cetera. Can we have those types of things elsewhere. And the last things in terms of the environment and impact and other things, so having this innovation be a thing, obviously we need strong intellectual property also to foster that.
To give you one example, in India, the mobile telephone operators are the second larger consumers of diesel in the country, and the largest is (off microphone). The reason is that in most of the rural areas most of these towers exist. There's no power supply there for most of the time. (off microphone) doesn't exist. So (off microphone) something like 16 to 18 hours or 20 hours. Just think about if there was a power supply, how much it will impact that.
So how can we use these type of things? Let's say a smart group type of thing to improve those efficiencies, and it will help not only the telecom centre but actually once you take the power (off microphone) into the village it will help everyone.
>> ARTHUR MICKOLEIT: Thank you. And Tracy from Tobago?
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: I look at countries (off microphone) we have (off microphone) grappled with the question as far as cloud computing. So policies, may still be implemented quickly. (off microphone) from trans-boundary cross-border (off microphone) waste. Before we even get to the cloud computing discussion. So we have an integrated policy in Tobago (off microphone) part of our policy. We haven't yet (off microphone) Corpus Christi. As a question from -- (off microphone). We both know it. So if it's going to (off microphone) we have a challenge. So I would like to advocate that people who are doing e-based policies look at the cloud now before we have to -- on the cloud. Thank you.
>> ARTHUR MICKOLEIT: Thank you very much to the panelists for these last thoughts and also thank you for your great presentations and discussion. Thanks also to Heather, Heather Creech had to leave us to do her own workshop.
Two points that I take away from this discussion today. One is that we need to work and we need to continue working a lot. That means within -- at the OECD and also with our national/international partners. We need to work a lot on the ICT benefits and the impacts, and we need data. We need information, we need -- we need data to work with, and we need information to work with. So this is the first one. So we need to get our concepts clear about what we talk when we talk about the ICTs and the environment and how ICTs can or do, actually, impact the environment.
And the second thing that we need to do, and this is something that we cannot do alone, but we have to work with our colleagues in environment ministries, in climate change ministries and other government agencies and with the experts, obviously, to work on communicating this message, getting it out of the -- a bit out of the techy box into the real world of climate change negotiations where I mentioned during the discussions there are a lot of big elephants in the room, and ICTs are not always considered to be as one of them and probably rightly so, but these issues need to be -- need to be -- need to be considered -- need to be considered in these discussions.
So just to finish this, we have some documents going forward. There is at the end of the table you find a recommendation by the OECD on how governments can use information technologies for the environmental environment. Others -- they have issued their recommendation on that one also, and we have some events, the ITU, Dynamic Coalition was mentioned this afternoon and it would be great to see you there again and we have a DOCD. On the 29th of September the Technology Foresight Forum on Smart Technology and Green Growth.
So this is really -- the agenda is on the table. This is really about applying and using information communication technologies for environmental benefits.
So with all this let me close and let me thank again the great panel here. Let me thank you for having you here and it's been a great discussion and I look forward to continuing this discussion with you. And as we say in Lithuania (speaking in foreign language). Good-bye.