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The Rocket Slows: Data Center Power Growth Lessens

August 31, 2011 - 0 Comments

Interesting news for Data Center industry watchers:   growth in Data Center energy usage has apparently slowed.

Researcher John Koomey recently studied the issue at the request of The New York Times and determined that from 2005 to 2010 Data Centers worldwide increased energy usage by a little more than half (56 percent) while those in the United States increased usage by about one third (36 percent).

While those increases are still massive, they represent more distance between the gas pedal and the floorboard than during the prior five years.  It’s also less growth than what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported to Congress about Data Centers in 2007, when they warned U.S. Data Centers might double their power consumption in that time frame if IT- and facilities-related energy efficiencies weren’t introduced.

The image below, from that EPA report, illustrates that projection (see the steepest line, in orange), as well as more modest ones assuming various energy-saving solutions were implemented.

U.S. Data Center Electricity Use Projections, from the EPA's "Report to Congress on Server and Data Center Energy Efficiency" (2007).

In his report, Koomey indicates that although some energy efficiency measures have indeed helped slow the growth of Data Center energy demand, something else was at work, too.  Watch below for discussion of those factors and thoughts about Data Center energy use going forward.

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