Sunday, September 23, 2012

NYT story on data center waste scares some, frustrates others

Facebook's most recently built data center in Oregon uses mist cooling rather than traditional chillers to save energy.

(Credit: Screen capture Martin LaMonica/CNET)

The New York Times today kicked of an investigative series on how the cloud's physical structures are affecting the environment with a first installment that offers some scary stats about energy waste. But some say the story unfairly depicts an Internet industry that has been making major strides in this area.

Taking into account a year's worth of reporting and research, the Times' James Glanz concludes that most data centers are wasting huge amounts of energy, which, puts the information industry "at odds with its image of sleek efficiency and environmental friendliness."

"Online companies typically run their facilities at maximum capacity around the clock, whatever the demand," the story says. "As a result, data centers can waste 90 percent or more of the electricity they pull off the grid, The Times found."

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