From Twittering to Facebook, from music downloads to streaming video, from email to e-books, the Internet is driving almost every part of our lives and as a result, the energy needed to run our data centre servers and communications infrastructure is increasing annually. In response, a number of cross-company consortiums, like the Green Grid, have been formed and with a symposium being held this week to discuss data centre efficiency, it seems only right to look at the increasing problems facing our over-worked servers.
Between 2000 and 2005, the energy consumed by such data centres doubled, both in the US and worldwide. As more and more people demand more from online media, then more power is needed to power the centres that keep the Internet and servers running. For the US in 2006, online data centres accounted for 1.5 percent of the entire country’s electricity use – equating to more than the entire state of Massachusetts.