Friday, October 23, 2009


Server Power Consumption

This BusinessWeek article notes that many servers around the world are just sucking juice and not really doing anything.
As many as 4.7 million servers worldwide—more than 15 per cent of the global total—are merely consuming energy without serving any productive purpose, according to a study sponsored by IT power management company.
This isn’t surprising, as data centers are built with excess capacity to absorb all the new data being created. So in time, those servers will be put to work. But an equally interesting fact — and one with greater implications for the future — was buried farther down in the article (emphasis mine).
A separate study by researcher IDC found that because of rocketing energy prices it now costs more to power some servers than to buy them in the first place.

IDC said that while the amount of energy required to operate servers and datacentres declined slightly between 2007 and 2008 this was not enough to offset the spiralling energy costs, pushed up by increasing electricity prices.
Because over the long term (or maybe even over the short term) energy prices have to go up, it is readily apparent that this spells trouble for the internet and cloud computing. Servers may become more efficient and less expensive, but they’ll run only as long as energy costs stay manageable.

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