The Cost of a Wired World

The other night I ran across an interesting tidbit in the most recent issue of MacWorld… It seems that a recent study revealed that the amount of electricity required to run the world’s computer servers has doubled since 2000. As of 2005, it cost businesses worldwide $7.2 billion run their servers (just considering the energy costs). Moreover, based on current usage patterns and market forecasts, computer servers could burn up to to 76% power by 2010.

Obviously, this sort of energy consumption isn’t just expensive… It’s also bad from an environmental perspective. Interestingly, companies ranging from niche players such as Dreamhost to behemoths like Yahoo! are going carbon neutral. As an aside, Yahoo! did the math and discovered that going carbon neutral is, in their case, the equivalent to “shutting off the electricity in all San Francisco homes for a month. Or, pulling nearly 25, 000 cars off the road for a year.” Wow. That’s a lot of energy!

9 Responses to “The Cost of a Wired World”

  1. Anonymous

    Yeah its good that they are stepping up and doing this, there is a lot more thought being give to what we are doing to the world we live in.. Now with cars as well being split models.

  2. Anonymous

    “shutting off the electricity in all San Francisco homes for a month. Or, pulling nearly 25,000 cars off the road for a year.”

    Hummm thats a lot of energy……but its good to know that yahoo started to work to go green.


  3. Anonymous

    It’s great to see big companies such as Yahoo are taking initiatives to go green.

    Yes, it’s done primarily for public relations but hopefully there is a huge trickle down to smaller companies and consumers.

  4. Anonymous

    There are other factors that i think will stem the growth in power usage of servers and possibly even drop it down.

    My company has almost 1000 servers workwide. Many of these are for small purposes. In the next 2 years, they are consolidating all servers into some supercomputers with 128gb RAM and enormous storage towers. Although these take a lot of power themselves, some of them will replace more than 50 stnadard servers. The reduction in cabling, electricity, and server room space will be significant. I think a lot of companies wills tart doing this. There are almost no downsides.

  5. Anonymous

    Those figures are astounding!

    There are a lot of ways for companies to go green with energy production, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of these companies putting windmills or solar panels on their roofs. They get a great tax break, and free energy for doing it. It is also better for their public image. It’s a no lose situation for them.

  6. Anonymous

    As a computer science graduate I couldn’t help but be amazed at how much wasted energy computers generate, noise, and most significantly heat. Imagine that waste multiplied by every home and office in America where a computer exists. If you could cut the energy use of every laptop, PC and server in the US alone by 10% I think you could make a fortune.

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