Canadian Consulting Engineer

Server farms proliferate – half a million and growing

August 7, 2012
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

From an article by David Biello, Scientific American online, August 3:

From an article by David Biello, Scientific American online, August 3:

“Although the individual number may sound small, when added up, Facebook’s—and the world’s—use of row after row of computer servers stored on racks in massive, refrigerated, windowless warehouses in places like Prineville, Ore., and Forest City, N.C., consumes a growing share of the globe’s energy. For example, to keep Amazon ever ready to take an order, rack after rack of computers in a data center are chilled below 21 degrees Celsius.

“There are now more than 500,000 data centers worldwide, hosting the bulk of the more than 32 million individual servers. Server farms, according to data center expert Jonathan Koomey of Stanford University, now account for roughly 1.5 percent of global electricity use, or about 300 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. Google’s data centers, for example, dwarf Facebook’s, using two billion kilowatt-hours per year as the world searches for the latest article on server energy use.

“That makes the Internet a larger emitter of greenhouse gases — 30 million metric tons — than all the countries of Scandinavia put together.”


To see the full article, entitled “Can Facebook Show How to Reduce the Growing Energy Use of the Internet?” click here


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