Business, Energy, Technology & Science

$428 per server per year

12.06.06 | Comment?

Garden variety data center photo

Yesterday I had a conversation with a colleague who is now working in a large, and I mean large, server environment. There are many challenges he faces, but chief among them is power consumption and cost. They are now having to place their data centers according to power supply capabilities and cost rather than other business factors like proximity to trained work force and real estate cost.

My colleague mentioned that they’re spending, fully loaded with lighting, cooling, etc., some $428 per server instance per year in power costs. I agreed to not disclose the name of the company (you’d recognize it) or his name (you wouldn’t recognize it) – but the scale of this is huge. Tens of thousands of servers and tens of millions of dollars spent on power annually.

One other thing worth noting is an unwanted and unused by product of all that activity – millions and millions of excess BTUs at about 25C in temperature.

There is certainly room for improvement in this situation, even with the work that AMD and Sun have done on the power consumption side for servers.

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