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Data centre energy use

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Data centre energy use

  1. 1. Cloud computing is...
  2. 2. ...a huge phenomenon • More than 3 million data centers of widely varying sizes worldwide (IDC) • US government datacentres - up from 432 in 1998 to 2,094 in 2010
  3. 3. ... driven by • Massive expansion in data • 1.8 trillion gigabytes of digital information created globally last year • 75% of that generated by individuals, not corporations • But corporate use also huge -- e.g. NYSE generates 2,000 GB/day, which has to be stored for years
  4. 4. ... power-hungry • In US, cloud computing used 76 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2010 • That’s ~ 2 percent of all electricity used in the US that year (Jonathan Koomey, Stanford) • Compare with paper industry, which took 67 billion kilowatt-hours from the grid in 2010
  5. 5. (just for comparison) • One data-centre = one medium-sized town • Google consumes 300 megawatts (MW) • Facebook 60m MW
  6. 6. ... very inefficient • Typically data-centres only use 6-12% of energy for actual computation • In one sample of 333 servers monitored in 2010, >50% were found to be comatose (i.e. not doing any computation) • Nearly 75% of servers in the sample were using less than 10 percent of their computational power
  7. 7. ... wasteful • Low utilization rates mean that the energy wasted is as much as 30 times the amount of electricity used to carry out the basic purpose of the data centre • Most of the energy goes on keeping idle machines running, and cooling them down
  8. 8. ... polluting • Data-centres use (diesel generators for backup • These often violate air pollution regulations • (~ 12 data-centres in Virginia and Illinois fined in one year)
  9. 9. ... badly managed • Most run at max capacity 24x7x365 • (because of fear of downtime) • Waste 90% of the energy they pull off the grid
  10. 10. ... in a word, nuts • On both financial and environmental grounds.
  11. 11. Based on James Glanz’s NYT article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/technology/data-centers-waste-vast-amounts-of-energy-belying-industry-image.html
  12. 12. John Naughton memex.naughtons.org

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