Saving Energy at the Data Centers that Enable Our E-LivesOct. 2008
In 2006, the United States spent nearly $4.5 billion to power the servers nationwide, including the cost of cooling and auxiliary infrastructure equipment in data centers. However, recent chip advances are opening a new dimension in saving energy throughout the different areas of data center operation.
New chips also can reduce energy use by up to 40%, even in the memory arena.
Further chip advances have the potential to significantly lower the heat generated and the energy consumed by servers. During massive data computations - which account for about 35% of a server's typical energy draw - new chip technologies allow those parts of the processor parts not fully engaged during an application to draw reduced amounts of energy.
Advanced chip technologies also improve the efficiency of data center cooling systems and enable intelligent sensing, control and communication capabilities that further reduce the energy usage. Highly energy-efficient data centers will, in turn, become increasingly important as the internet contributes to greater energy efficiencies in homes and businesses everywhere. Intelligent metering will allow market-based pricing to reflect higher demand on the electric grid, thereby encouraging consumers to shift to off-peak hours; and networks of sensors will automatically lower lighting and adjust heating and air conditioning when no one is around.