In August 2007, the Environmental Protection Agency, in response to a request from Congress, produced a report that shocked the IT community. Among the stunning findings in the EPA's Report to Congress on Server and Data Center Energy Efficiency were the following statistics:
- The data center sector consumed about 61 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2006 (1.5 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption) for a total electricity cost of about $4.5 billion. This level of usage is equal to the energy usage of 5.8 million average U.S. households, or 5% of the U.S. population
- The level of data center energy use will double, according to an EPA projection, by 2011, to 100 Billion KwH and $7.4 Billion, requiring the construction of 10 additional power plants nationwide.
- A single fully-populated rack of blade servers requires up to 20-25 kW of power to operate, and an additional 20-25 kW for cooling and power conversion, equivalent to the peak electricity demand of about 30 typical California homes.
- Due to data retention regulations, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, the amount of data that must be retained is growing at a 50% CAGR (compound annual growth rate), driving extraordinary growth in storage and its associated energy usage.
So, how do IT leaders integrate the desire for cost efficiency with user growth expectations and "green" corporate policies? TechRepublic's latest cover story, "Cashing the check on Green IT" offers the latest information on why and how to make Green IT work in your organization. You can download the cover story here.
Toni Bowers is the former Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.