1. What business and social problems does data center power consumption cause?
Excessive power consumption uses vast amount of electricity that must be generated through hydroelectric plants or coal-fired power plants. While hydroelectric generation plants are less stressful on the environment than coal-fired, nevertheless, they do pull resources from more useful purposes. Coal-fired power plants generate huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which some scientists and politicians claim is a major cause of global warming. Social implications of increased power consumption point to global warming
Between 2000 and 2007 the number of severs in corporate data center servers increased from 5.6 million to an estimated 12 million in the United States, and 29 million worldwide. During the same period, the total annual cost of electricity for data center servers jumped from 1.3 billion to 2.7 billion in the United States and from 3.2 billion to 7.2 billion across the world. What's more, the heat generated from all of these severs is causing equipment to fail. All this additional power consumption has a negative impact on the environment and as well as corporate operating costs.
2. What solutions are available for these problems? Which are the most environment-friendly?
Some of the solutions to cut power consumption discussed in the case study are a good beginning. Building data centers that take advantage of hydroelectric power generation rather than coal-fired power plants; renewable energy projects; alternative energy; employee telecommuting; thin client computers, software that automatically turns computers off; more efficient chips. Perhaps the most environment-friendly solutions are those that control the hardware and software, thereby controlling the problem at its source. Virtualization holds great promise as a way to reduce power requirements by... [continues]
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