By Casimer DeCusatis, Ph.D. | Posted: 28 September 2012
Energy consumption is quite literally a hot topic for data center designers these days. A recent year-long study on this topic, published by the New York Times, provides an interesting perspective on this problem. According to the article, while most companies are reluctant to share details of their data center designs, it can be shown that a single data center supporting Amazon, Google, Facebook, or many other household names can easily consume as much power as a small city. Data centers worldwide consume around 30 billion watts of electricity, the equivalent of about 30 nuclear power plants. The power required to run servers, networks, and storage may only be a fraction of this total; heating and cooling of the data center also contributes to overall power consumption, as well as redundant power in the form of backup generators and batteries.
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