The cost of energy is increasing. A significant part of electrical energy cost is the cost of distribution. That's the reason why the popularity of small home solar systems increases. That's the way how to generate and consume electricity locally and be independent of the distribution network. However, we have a problem. "Green Energy" from solar, wind, and hydroelectric power stations is difficult to distribute via the electrical grid. Energy accumulation (batteries, pumped storage power plant, etc.) is costly and for the traditional electrical grid is very difficult to automatically manage the distribution of so many energy sources.
The Cloud Computing
The demand for cloud (computing and storage) capacity is increasing year by year. Internet bandwidth increases and cost decreases every year. 5G Networks and SD-WANs are on the radar. Cloud Computing is operated on data centers. A significant part of data center costs is the cost of energy.
The potential synergy between Energetics and Cloud Computing
The solution is to consume electricity in the proximity of green power generators. Excess electricity is accumulated into batteries but batteries capacity is limited. We should treat batteries like a cache or buffer to overcome times when green energy does not generate energy but we have local demand. However, when we have excess electricity and the battery (cache/buffer) is full, instead of providing the energy into the electrical grid, the excess electricity can be consumed by a computer system providing compute resources to cloud computing consumers over the internet. This is the form of Distributed Cloud Computing.
So, let's assume we will have Distributed Cloud Computing with so-called Spot Compute Resource Pools". Spot Compute Resource Pools are computing resources that can appear or disappear within hours or minutes. This is not optimal IT infrastructure for traditional software applications which are not infrastructure aware. For such distributed cloud computing the software applications must be designed and developed with infrastructure resources ephemerality in mind. In other words, Cloud-Native Applications must be able to leverage ephemeral compute resource pools and know how to use "Spot Compute Resource Pools".
With today's technology, it is not very difficult to roll out such a network of data centers providing distributed cloud computing and consuming locally the excess electricity from "green" electric sources. I'm planning the Proof of Concept in my house in the middle of this year and let you know about some real experiences because the devil is in detail.
The conceptual Design of such a solution is available at https://www.slideshare.net/davidpasek/flex-cloud-conceptual-design-ver-02
If you would like to discuss this topic, do not hesitate to use the comments below the blog post or open discussion on Twitter @vcdx200.
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