The IT Energy Crunch

Businessweek.com on the increasing costs of energy for IT products.

…when HP began constructing a new 50,000-square-foot building to house high-powered computers, it sought advice from Pacific Gas & Electric (PCG). By following the California power company’s recommendations, HP will save $1 million a year in power costs for that data center alone, PG&E says.

Like HP, companies across the globe are adding equipment to keep up with surging computing needs—and then are forced to make substantial changes to curtail the leap in costs associated with running the big buildings, or data centers, housing all that gear. “Data centers use 50 times the energy per square foot as an office [does],” says Mark Bramfitt, principal program manager at PG&E.

Industry experts say the power consumption of data centers is doubling every five years or so
, making them one of the fastest-growing drags on energy in the U.S. “The IT industry is where the automotive industry was 20 years ago,” says Rakesh Kumar, research vice-president at consulting firm Gartner (IT). “We are so backwards when it comes to using alternative-energy and energy-efficient technologies.”

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