31 July 2011 — Data centers’ unquenchable thirst for electricity has been slaked by the global recession and by a combination of new power-saving technologies, according to an independent report on data center power use from 2005 to 2010.
A study shows that, partly because of the 2008 recession, power consumption by data centers hasn’t grown at expected rates. The study suggests that Google’s centers are more efficient than most. The report, by Jonathan G. Koomey, a consulting professor in the civil and environmental engineering department at Stanford University, found that the actual number of computer servers declined significantly compared to 2010 forecasts because of this lowered demand for computing and because of the financial crisis of 2008 and the emergence of technologies like more efficient computer chips and computer server virtualization, which allows fewer servers to run more programs.
The slowing of growth in consumption contradicts a 2007 forecast by the Environmental Protection Agency that the explosive expansion of the Internet and the computerization of society would lead to a doubling of power consumed by data centers from 2005 … Read more