Study calls on industry to hasten datacentre efficiency efforts

Chip manufacturer AMD has released a study revealing shifting patterns in worldwide datacentre energy use at regional levels.

Chip manufacturer AMD has released a study revealing shifting patterns in worldwide datacentre energy use at regional levels.

The study was conducted by Jonathan Koomey, Ph.D., using data from industry analyst firm IDC and documents energy use across five regions: the United States , Western Europe , Japan , Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan ) and the rest of the world.


Based on current growth trends, the US share of total world server electricity use from datacentres will likely decline from 40% in 2000 to about one-third by 2010, BY contrast, the Asia/Pacific region (excluding Japan ) will increase its share from 10% to about 16% over that period.


“Our hope is that this research helps bridge the gap between knowledge and action by furthering worldwide understanding of the economic and environmental costs associated with escalating datacentre energy consumption ,” said Bruce Shaw, director, Server and Workstation Marketing, AMD.


“According to a recent U.S. EPA Report, datacentre energy consumption in the United States five years from now could be cut by as much as 20% with relatively minor efforts by datacentre managers, including turning on available power management features, enabling higher rates of resource consolidation, shutting off unused servers and improving infrastructure operations.”


Dr. Koomey's report shows that electricity used by servers in the United States and Europe currently comprise about two thirds of the world’s total, with Japan, Asia/Pacific and the rest of the world each falling at between 10 and 15% of the total. The Western European growth rate of 17% was slightly above the world average, while growth rates in the other regions were lower than the world average.

AMD calculates that if the 20% savings estimated in the report are applied to Dr. Koomey’s projections for global datacentre electricity use in 2010, total savings would equal approximately five 1000 MW power plants. In other words, relatively modest changes in the way datacentres are designed and operated could offset approximately half the expected growth in global datacentre electricity use in 2010.


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