Data Center Energy Needs
Posted on June 14, 2008 Comments (4)
The modern data center is like a vast refrigerator with hundreds or thousands of ovens blazing away inside. Six-foot-tall metal racks stacked with pizza box-size computers, storage devices, and network-routing machines are lined up in rows. Chilled air blows through the equipment from vents in the floors of “cold aisles.” Hot air blows out of the back ends into “hot aisles” and is drawn off and vented out of the building. Inside the centers, there’s a dull roar as large quantities of air shoot through ducts, vents, and computers.
So intense is the competition among tech companies to lower their costs of processing data that some treat information about their energy use like state secrets.
The $4.5 billion spent in the U.S. in 2006 is the equivalent of the electric bills for 5.8 million U.S. households.
When you realize the huge cooling needs (in addition to the need for electricity to run the computers) you can see the huge advantage of a cold climate where you can take advantage of cool air for cooling.