Data Centers as 'Gas Guzzlers'

The Associated Press examines the data center energy efficiency debate.

Data centers are "the gas-guzzling automobiles of the technology world," according to an Associated Press story on data center energy issues. "Some require 40 or 50 times more power than comparably sized office space." The story is getting visibility in many local newspapers and web sites due to the AP's reach. Reporter Brian Bergstein capably covers many of the familiar bases, and throws in a few new angles and numbers. One picks up on the car comparison in contemplating the benefits of improved efficiency:

"It's somewhat analogous to someone who decides to purchase an energy-efficient automobile and says, 'Gee, I'm using 30 percent less gasoline with this," said Charles King, an analyst with Pund-IT Research. "That means I can drive 30 percent more miles than I used to, and still do something for the environment.' It's an interesting philosophical question."

There's also an interesting data point from Neil Rasmussen, chief technical officer of American Power Conversion. Neil calculates that a 1-megawatt data center would amass $17 million in electric bills over its 10-year life span.