The Internet is not as Green as you think
Sure, the Internet helps reduce pollution by speeding data around the globe without the use of gas-guzzling, carbon-emitting planes, trains and automobiles. But what about the Web’s carbon footprint? It’s actually bigger than you think…a lot bigger according to a recent article in The Vancouver Sun, which ranks the Internet’s appetite for power right up there with the aviation industry.
The Internet’s voracious energy consumption may come as a surprise to the average person. But we suspect CIOs, data center managers and IT professionals have been struggling with this dirty little secret for some time. It takes large data centers, routers and switches to support the highly efficient Internet economy—and this equipment doesn’t run on hamster power. According to The Vancouver Sun:
Apple's 46,000-square-metre iDataCenter is set to open in North Carolina this spring with a price tag of $1 billion U.S.. It will use an estimated 100 megawatts of power — as much as about 100,000 Canadian homes.
Apple's mega-facility is part of a cluster of gigantic new data centres coming on line in North Carolina that are powered largely by cheap and highly polluting coal power. Google has a 44,000-square-metre data centre in the state that eventually will consume an estimated 60 to 100 MW. Facebook has a 28,000-square-metre facility under construction there that will eat up 40 MW.
Finding sustainable, renewable energy sources is a global challenge. But how can we as IT professionals contribute closer to home? We can’t roll back the rising tides of data, but we can address and reduce energy waste in our own data centers.
According to Forrester Research, nearly 30 percent of servers are “dead” or underutilized. In addition, the average server utilization is a mere eight to 12 percent. We believe solving these problems is achievable with accurate measurement, intelligent analysis and proactive, policy-based control.
What do you think? Do you know what the greatest culprit of energy waste is within your organization? Comment below. We would love to get your thoughts.
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