The Wall Street Journal has an article today about the data center power challenge, focusing on chip-level energy issues and the recent industry meeting with federal officials hosted by AMD. The story, Unclogging The Data Center Power Drain (Subscription needed), doesn’t beak new ground but provides a broad overview of the issues behind soaring energy usage in data centers and the growing efforts for major tech companies to focus on a collective response. Most of the color is derived from the “strange bedfellows” angle. An excerpt:
Archrivals Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. don’t agree on many things. But on one subject, officials from the two chip makers are in accord: the need to rein in the soaring power appetite of computer data centers that rely on their technology. That executives from the two companies were willing to gather in the same room to discuss the problem — in the offices of AMD, much less — was a tribute to an unlikely new player on the Silicon Valley scene: the federal government. … Other rivals at the meeting included officials from software powerhouses Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp., and hardware titans Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Inc. “Like going into a Klingon ship,” is how William Swope, a veteran Intel manager, later described the experience of entering the AMD camp.
Since I can’t resist the temptation to embrace and extend a geeky TV analogy, I’ll note that while the Klingons were the villains in the original Star Trek, they were collaborative members of the Federation in Star Trek: The Next Generation.