Content in the Cloud: Towards a Green Information Service Model

Content in the Cloud: Towards a Green Information Service Model

Gobinda G. Chowdhury
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4365-9.ch019
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This chapter reports on a study that aims to design the conceptual model of a Cloud-Based Green Information Service. It is noted that Green ICT can play a key role in saving the environment. It is also noted that Cloud computing facilitates the development of an economically and environmentally sustainable model for Green Information Services. However, such a model should have different layers, and some specific research and development activities are to be undertaken for each layer of the Cloud Information Service architecture.
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The following are some recent headlines that show how Cloud computing is gaining momentum in various academic and research, businesses and government activities and thereby influencing our daily lives:

Cloud computing has been an information technology buzzword for many years. Now it is going mainstream (Weber, 2010).

The cloud is, finally, about to change our lives—and it will all start with content. (Ulanoff, 2011).

U.K. government policy makers will be able to work securely on classified documents across departments for the first time thanks to a deal with cloud computing and content management service provider Huddle (Rooney, 2011).

The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in the UK has been taking some major initiatives for taking academic and research information services in the Cloud. JISC has recently announced that:

JANET (UK) will deliver the national brokerage to aid procurement of cloud services between higher education institutions and commercial suppliers and Eduserv will provide a pilot cloud infrastructure for higher education institutions (JISC, 2011a).

According to Dr. Malcom Read (the then Executive Secretary of JISC), a federation of clouds for education and research could be extended across the whole of Europe (JISC, 2011b).

Library and information services, as we understand them today, i.e. those that provide individual and communities of users shared access to commercial as well as free information resources, have existed for several centuries. However, all through these years they have changed and adapted to new technologies and emerging socio-economic practices, and the changing user behaviour and usage patterns. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have been a major driving force behind the evolution of information services over the past few decades.

Internet, web and mobile technologies have been the recent major forces behind the creation of a new era of digital information systems and services that have significantly changed the ways in which we create, distribute, seek, access, use, share and re-create information. On the one hand there has been an unprecedented growth in the volume and variety of digital information, and on the other there has been an exponential growth in the use of computer and communication technologies. However, the increasing use of ICT (information and communication technologies) in the creation, management and use of information have significant economic and environmental implications. Individuals, institutions, governments, businesses, etc. are making increasing use of computing and communication technologies which demand more economic resources for acquiring, managing, and upgrading technologies because of the relatively short lifespan of computer and communications equipment. This on the one hand make the task of planning, management and implementation of projects that require substantial use of ICT more and more difficult, and on the other hand the increased use of ICT makes more demands on energy consumption which have adverse environmental impacts. It is estimated that universities and colleges in the UK alone:

  • “Utilise nearly 1,470,000 computers, 250,000 printers and 240,000 servers

  • Will have ICT-related electricity bills of around £116m in 2009, and

  • Are indirectly emitting over 500,000t of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from this electricity use” (James and Hopkinson, 2009).

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