New Power-Saving Technologies: Global Data Centers’ Power Use Less Than Expected

According to an independent report on data center power use from 2005 to 2010, data centers’ demand for electricity has been slowed down by the global recession and by a combination of new power-saving technologies. In the period studied, more services that depend on data centers, like cloud computing, streaming of music and social networks like Facebook, became popular.

The new study by Jonathan G. Koomey, a consulting professor in the civil and environmental engineering department at Stanford University, found that electricity used by data centers worldwide grew about 56 percent. That contradicts a 2007 forecast that the explosive expansion of the Internet and the computerization of society would lead to a doubling of power consumption.

As part of his research, Mr. Koomey even was able to get a detailed estimate of Google’s contribution to the global growth of power consumption by data centers. A Google executive told him that the company’s total data center electricity use was less than 1 percent of the Koomey report’s estimate.

If this is accurate, it could confirm the widely held industry perception that Google is more efficient than the mainstream of the data center industry.

This reminds us of Chris Malone’s keynote address from Uptime Institute Symposium 2011  (see Video below).

Malone, Thermal Technologies Architect at Google, discusses the key design and operational practices Google uses to drive high energy efficiency for facilities of all sizes. Among other things, he gave the following advice for improving your own data center’s PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness): “Optimize your power distribution scheme by minimizing conversions and using efficient UPS solutions.”


New York Times | Data Centers’ Power Use Less Than Was Expected

Analytics Press | Growth in data center electricity use 2005 to 2010 (Download)

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