An AMD study has revealed fascinating changes to global data centre energy use, suggesting that even small shifts in operational procedures could cut now electricity consumption.
The study, conducted by Dr Jonathan Koomey and using data from industry analyst firm IDC, documents energy use across five regions: the US, Western Europe, Japan, Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) and the rest of the world.
It forecasts datacentre energy consumption, estimating that by 2010 US consumption will decline relative to consumption worldwide from 40% in 2000 to about a third by 2010. The Asia/Pacific region (excluding Japan) will increase its share from 10% to about 16% over that period.
AMD estimated that the absolute electricity consumption for servers in the Asia/Pacific region under this scenario will more than double from 2005 to 2010, requiring electricity capacity equal to output from two new 1,000MW power plants – which is unsurprising given the rate at which those economies are growing. For the entire world, server consumption from 2005 to 2010 would require additional capacity equal to more than 10 additional 1,000MW power plants.
Koomey’s report shows that electricity used by servers in the US 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.
Examining electricity use by region from 2000 to 2005, the study found that server electricity use in the Asia/Pacific region (excluding Japan) grew at a 23% annual rate, compared to a world average of 16% a year, making this region the only one with server electricity use growing at a rate significantly greater than the world average.
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