The New York Times has reported that “cloud” data centers—which store YouTube videos, run Google searches and process eBay bids—use about 2 percent of all electricity in the nation. In some data centers, up to 90 percent of the energy is wasted.
Now, an industry consortium called the Uptime Institute is sponsoring a “server roundup”
and handing out rodeo belt buckles to the Internet company that can take the largest number of heat-producing, energy-hungry servers offline. Many centers expend as much or more energy in cooling their facilities as in computing and transmitting data.
Sharing best practices has become common among data center pros. Facebook won the Institute’s Audacious Idea award last year for its Open Compute Project, which enabled both its server and data center designs to be open-sourced for anyone to access and improve upon.