Green servers

Via slashdot, an interview with Richard Sawyer, director of data center technology for American Power Conversion Corp., on whether computer servers have innovated to be energy efficienct without giving up performance.

I found the comments to the slashdot post to be the most interesting, particularly this one from Shalda:

Your average data-center manager could not care less about whether his server farm is environmentally friendly or not. On the other hand, electricity is a major expense. A dozen racks of 1U servers pulling 100-200 watts each will probably run you upwards of $80k/year. And that doesn’t even include the cost of cooling your server room (which will add another $20k or so). Server consolidations and energy efficient servers save money. And that will always be your driving force. If company A says they have a “green” server room, it’s just marketing. Their first concern and only concern is the bottom line.

Cynical but an entry point to convincing chief financial officers to purchase energy saving devices.

2 Responses to “Green servers”

  1. Jean-Sebastien says:

    One of the biggest consumer of power from their server farms is probably Google. Although it’s probably one of their biggest expense (in addition to being environmentally unfriendly), if we look into how the Google file system was designed [1], we can see that energy saving was not a requirement. Hopefully this is changing, no matter if they are driven by environmental or economical motivations.

    [1] Sanjay Ghemawat, Howard Gobioff, Shun-Tak Leung: The Google file system. SOSP 2003: 29-43