Are Data Centers “Wasting” Energy?


I was reading this article in the New York Times this weekend entitled “Power, Pollution and the Internet”. The main point of the article is: “A yearlong examination by The New York Times has revealed…most data centers…consume vast amounts of energy in an incongruously wasteful manner…Online companies typically run their facilities at maximum capacity around the clock, whatever the demand. As a result, data centers can waste 90 percent or more of the electricity they pull off the grid.”

I think the average reader, may find this to be “new” and even “shocking” information. Readers of this blog, I am sure, have a different perspective. At CSC/WESCO, we work daily with the issues of space, cooling and power consumption in the data center, and we work with our manufacturer partners to bring solutions to solve the problems described in this Times article.

As it took nearly a year to research the facts, this article is worth the read: “To investigate the industry, The Times obtained thousands of pages of local, state and federal records, some through freedom of information laws, that are kept on industrial facilities that use large amounts of energy. Copies of permits for generators and information about their emissions were obtained from environmental agencies, which helped pinpoint some data center locations and details of their operations. In addition to reviewing records from electrical utilities, The Times also visited data centers across the country and conducted hundreds of interviews with current and former employees and contractors.” Read the full article now.

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