Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Data Center Electricity Trends

Jonathan G. Koomey, a consulting professor in the civil and environmental engineering department at Stanford University, has published a new study - - Growth in Data Center Power Use 2005 to 2010.

Key points from the study include the following:
  • The financial crisis of 2008 impacted the growth and demand for server farm electricity.
  • Technology (more efficient computer chips and computer server visualisation) has allowed fewer servers to run more programs.
  • The actual split between the recession and technology could not be determined by Koomey.
  • Koomey's results disagree with 2007 projections from the U.S. EPA (the Internet would produce a doubling of power consumed by data centers from 2005 to 2010).
  • Worldwide power consumption for data centers increased 56% from 2005 to 2010, the U.S. total was 36% for the same time period.
  • Some observers feel the slower growth is only temporary (the EPA study predicted 2011 demand increasing to 12 gigawatts, or the output of 25 major power plants).
  • Cloud computing could significantly increase demand for data centers and thus electricity.
  • Data centers represent 0.5% of worldwide electricity consumption in 2005 (about 17 1,000-megawatt power plants).

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