Server energy consumption exceeds that of Las Vegas?

Amazing stats buried in a Wired magazine article:

"If it's necessary to waste memory and bandwidth to dominate the petascale era, gorging on energy is an inescapable cost of doing business. operations VP Dayne Sampson estimates that the five leading search companies together have some 2 million servers, each shedding 300 watts of heat annually, a total of 600 megawatts. These are linked to hard drives that dissipate perhaps another gigawatt. Fifty percent again as much power is required to cool this searing heat, for a total of 2.4 gigawatts. With a third of the incoming power already lost to the grid's inefficiencies, and half of what's left lost to power supplies, transformers, and converters, the total of electricity consumed by major search engines in 2006 approaches 5 gigawatts.

The article continues . . .

That's an impressive quantity of electricity. Five gigawatts is almost enough to power the Las Vegas metropolitan area – with all its hotels, casinos, restaurants, and convention centers – on the hottest day of the year. So the annual operation of the world's petascale search machines constitutes a Vegas-sized power sump. In the next year or so, it could add a dog-day Atlantic City. Air-conditioning will be the prime cost and conundrum of the petascale era. As energy analysts Peter Huber and Mark Mills projected in 1999, the planetary machine is on track to be consuming half of all the world's output of electricity by the end of this decade."

For the complete article:

energy hungry business world

this is an interesting thread. We were in Las Vegas last year and I wondered about the power consumption. Have never released the about power consumption of major search engines these days but then when you think about my own business we run a server and two computers 24 seven and have to do so to run a small business which employs three people. We keep adding additional layers of technology into all levels of business these days, which means power consumption is just going to increase. Perhaps we need to pair back some of the complexity is now required to run a business of any size but I can't see it happening in the near future.

New Estimates Released

These estimates my not jive with the most recent study. In particular, see the SF Chron article at the bottom of this post:

Anyone want to run the numbers and compare?

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