STRUCTURE 08: Data Center Power Guru Jonathan Koomey

Dr. Jonathan Koomey, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Stanford UniversityJonathan Koomey, a researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Labs and Stanford University, examines the world of bits meets atoms — or the power of computing.

Here’s some notes:

Data centers are not only the computing equipment, but power supplies and backup generators. How big an issue is data center power? I approached AMD to look at historical data center power use. In 2005 data center use was 1 percent of world’s total electricity. Half of data center energy is for infrastructure equipment. US and Europe dominate data center power usage, but Asia Pacific is growing the fastest.

Misplaced incentives through the fact that energy metrics aren’t standardized. Site infrastructure costs are 2/3 of the IT capital costs. The total cost of infrastructure is going to rise. We need clean slate whole redesign for the whole system. It amazed me it took 20 years to deliver a phone like the iPhone that I want. The same thing needs to be done here.

There’s a lot of low-haning fruit. A lot of the servers are comatose. The metrics are starting to help. You can also see experimentation with DC power ad virtualization.

The total power for servers: we’re looking at 1.5 percent of US electricity use, that’s 1 percent of world’s electricity use. That doubled between 2000 and 2005.

We need whole redesign of the system — it’s critical. Misplaced incentives abound.