A little dirty secret in the computer industry is that while computers and particularly CPU’s have gotten more powerful, likewise their power consumption has gone up dramatically. Also, for the server business heat release ergo cooling systems have become much more expensive, taking up as much as 40-50 % of all energy uses inside data centers. Combine this with web 2.0 business models, that often assume millions of users with a low ARPU (average revenue per user), and it becomes clear that business wise you have to make sure your power consumption is kept as low as possible. And of course, with global warming and green energy being a major issue these days you have another reason to become aware of your power consumption.
Google has been very secretive of their server and data center design. They own dozens of data centers around the world, trying to get as close as possible to the end user while reducing reliance on a limited set of data center and network backbones. Last week more details were released about their home grown server design. Keywords: completely Google custom, standard cheap components, all power is 12 Volt, on board battery instead of shared UPS usage. Also they showed their design of data centers, which is very interesting. Keywords: shipping containers as standard unit filled with servers within the data center, highly optimised air conditioning and efficient water usage.