Chris Thorman from SoftwareAdvice.com wrote an interesting blog post today, comparing the energy consumption of a traditions client-server architecture in your corporate Intranet to a laptop-carrying group using web-based software.
Chris' numbers are surprising: the software-as-a-service (SAAS) users end up consuming 88% less energy after the move from desktop computers and intranet-based software.
The difference in the numbers is based on two major differences:
- The users in the Intranet scenario are using a desktop computer, while the SAAS scenario puts laptops on the user's desks. Desktop computers do consume a lot more energy than laptops.
- It is assumed that in the Intranet scenario, the server is dedicated to the application, while in the SAAS scenario it is shared. While it is true that SAAS applications will often host hundreds (if not thousands) of accounts on the same server, we cannot assume that each Intranet application will use its dedicated server. Still, it is unlikely that an intranet server would have hundreds of applications running on it.
Software as a service is a good way to green your workplace. You save on office space, you save on computer hardware, and you can allow your team to telecommute.
What do you think? How is SAAS greener than traditional applications?