Cutting Server Power Consumption

Useful (if somewhat overly Sun flattering) Bloomberg piece out about efforts to cut power consumption and space usage by computer servers.

The electricity bill for operating all the servers in the
U.S. doubled between 2000 and 2005, to $2.7 billion, said
Jonathan Koomey, a consulting professor at Stanford. Servers
account for 1.2 percent of all U.S. energy consumption, or about
the same amount used by all color televisions.

Sun, the fourth-largest server maker, in March planted
Blackbox in New York’s Grand Central Terminal so commuters could
take a look. Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Schwartz is relying
on products such as Blackbox to keep Sun profitable after
emerging from five years of losses.

Blackbox’s cooling system cuts energy consumption by 20
percent, said Darlene Yaplee, a vice president at Santa Clara,
California-based Sun.


  1. Sun led the way in the marketplace, according to Jonathan Schwartz anyway, but the others can’t be far behind. But Google, for example, does not buy their servers: it puts together its own. Google’s electricity cost solution (which is inextricable from their original homegrown assembly of their servers) seems to be to locate data centres in areas close to electricity supply where it gets a break on electricity cost. They have commented in public for a few years now on the electricity cost/consumption problem. But I have never seen a overall analysis of the IT industry’s server problem of electricity cost, the companies involved, and their competitive solutions. I imagine anyone with even the info in one place keeps it hidden because it would be worth real gold, for cutting the electricity cost seems a natural.