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Energy impacts of cloud computing trends

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Title: Energy impacts of cloud computing trends
Author(s): Williams, Aida
Advisor(s): Thurston, Deborah L.
Department / Program: Industrial&Enterprise Sys Eng
Discipline: Industrial Engineering
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: M.S.
Genre: Thesis
Subject(s): cloud computing consumer electronics computers Internet use cloud computing data centers consumer behavior electronics purchasing electronics use decision analysis household energy energy use energy impacts
Abstract: Current research on consumer electronics mainly focuses on the energy expenditures of individual electronic devices or on data centers, while consideration of the larger consumer electronics system is overlooked. This thesis fills the existing research gap by analyzing current hardware energy expenditures, while also considering user purchasing and use behaviors. The research in this thesis analyzes existing 2009 electronics consumer data to better define electronics consumers, not as a homogenous group, but as three specific consumer sub-groups. Green users are defined as households with no or only one computer; utilitarians are defined as household with two computers, while technophiles are households with three or more computing devices. Survey data was examined to show that consumer use data differs significantly between the three consumer groups, where technophile consumers annually use five times more energy on electronic devices when compared to their green counterparts; similarly, technophile consumers’ energy use is three times greater than that of green consumers. Furthermore, this research shows that concurrent Internet use, enabled through increasing cloud computing capabilities, leads to a approximate 5% annual energy expenditure increase device-only consumer use. This thesis shows that increased Internet use would not offset energy savings realized through hardware device improvements. If all desktop computers and accompanying monitors were replaced with the significantly less energy intensive laptop computers, electronic devices would have to remain working 24 hours daily while accessing 80 websites and web-enabled applications simultaneously in order to offset the energy savings. Finally, this thesis defines value and use functions to determine consumer values of new devices they consider purchasing, as well as devices currently existing in their electronics portfolio. The research presented in this thesis can be used by electronics manufacturers, marketers, and policy makers in order to implement device redesigns, new marketing strategies, and consumer behavior change, which can only be realized after consumer behavior is better understood.
Issue Date: 2012-05-22
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/31113
Rights Information: Copyright 2012 Aida Sefic Williams
Date Available in IDEALS: 2012-05-22
Date Deposited: 2012-05
 

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