Such an approach has two effects. The first one, as pointed out by Rich Miller of Datacenter Knowledge
Rackspace said Tuesday that “larger use of recycled equipment” was one of the trends allowing it to reduce its capital expenditures for 2008 by $40 million. “The cloud computing operation gives us the ability to reuse servers pulled off the shelf after customers have left us,” said Rackspace CFO Bruce Knooihuizen. “Cloud computing is much more capital efficient, and gives us an avenue to use the older equipment.”
He points out how the reuse of pre-owned servers by Rackspace helps them save capital expenditure in their cloud computing initiatives. This is one of the advantages of cloud computing. You could build powerful computing resources by using commodity servers and even old used servers. Google is one good example of how they use ordinary machines in building their cloud infrastructure, thereby, saving enormous amounts of money in the process. However, I disagree with Rich Miller’s argument about the reliability issues. By adapting to a cloud like architecture, we can reduce the impact of failure by spreading the computing over several machines and, thereby, reducing the risks associated with such used hardware. The risks associated with the reliability issues of "old" hardware is small compared to the huge cost savings involved in it.
The second effect is the feel good factor associated with the use of "old" hardware in the cloud computing environment. The reuse of old equipment and the associated longevity of those hardware reduces the electronic waste in a big way. This helps us reduce the harmful impact on the environment due to such waste. We have seen the effect of cloud computing on power savings due to various factors like virtualization, etc.. These power savings also translate into positive impact on the environment. Green technology that reduces the capital expenditure for business isn’t all that bad. Right?
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