Home » Cloud documentary reveals the cost of cloud

Cloud documentary reveals the cost of cloud

by Simon Jones Tech Reporter
27th Feb 24 12:20 pm

Technology researchers Dark Matter have launched Clouded II, a documentary exposing the economic and environmental cost of cloud.

The feature-length film, sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, features industry experts questioning the true cost of the world’s commitment to innovate and digitise with cloud technologies. It explores the impact technology decision-making can have on businesses and ultimately, the planet.

Clouded II Director Daniel Tremayne-Pitter of Dark Matter said, “Cloud costs are spiralling and cloud spending is the leading challenge for 82% of organisations. But that isn’t the only cost, cloud is costing the planet. We wanted to dispel the cloud myths and unpick the misconceptions around the technology. The film exposes the true cost of cloud.”

The film addresses the cost-saving expectations tied to software-on-demand, contrasting with the reality of ballooning cloud bills. Dark Matter’s survey of 120 organisations found that 90% of respondents felt that cloud costs are rising and 35% said costs are rising beyond expectations. Dark Matter’s research also finds 47% of enterprises moving or considering moving their IT back on-premises.

David Linthicum, former cloud strategy officer, cloud computing SME, author and speaker said, “People are waking up to the inefficiency of cloud computing with costs two and half times bigger than expected.

“It can be difficult to admit some applications shouldn’t be in the cloud, and for some it can be career ending. There’s now a cottage industry in FinOps to help enterprises interpret complex cloud bills, to fix what’s broken.”

Clouded II also focuses on the cloud’s environmental impact. Featured expert Gerry McGovern said, “The growth of data is scary. By 2035 we will be producing about 2000 zettabytes of data.

“Typically, you store 10 percent of that, and need over a billion servers. You would need to cut down 20 trillion of trees to print one zettabyte, there is only 3.5 trillion trees on the planet. We need to think about what we truly need.”

Steven Gonzalez Monserrate, anthropologist at Goethe University added, “The language around cloud services creates a fantasy of abundance, but significant amounts of energy, water, heat and waste result from computation.”

In the film, experts discuss the impact data hoarding, and the cloud industry has on the environment, citing data centres located in environmentally sensitive locations. They also question the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) metric used by companies to measure data centre efficiency, explaining the measurement does not account for the water and heat waste incurred by data storage.

Mark Butcher, GreenOps advocate at Posetiv Cloud, featured in Clouded II, articulates the data waste ramifications, “Businesses spend billions storing data they don’t need, and could reduce waste by 50% by eliminating redundant processes. Enterprise emissions could be up to 99% bigger than many businesses think.”

Leave a Comment

You may also like