In Order to Cut Costs, Data Centers Need to Follow the (Energy) Money: Report

[qi:_earth2tech] Here’s another way to cut down on the cost of running a data center: Track and chase global energy prices. Moving computing power across multiple data centers to find the cheapest energy prices at any given time and place could end up saving companies millions of dollars, according to a new report out of MIT and Carnegie Mellon, or more than 2 percent of annual energy costs — without triggering either a substantial rise in bandwidth expenses or a drop in computing performance. And when the data center is efficient and bandwidth constraints aren’t an issue, that number rises as high as 40 percent.

Companies already frequently shift computing to offer faster web services and to troubleshoot network issues, so adding in a policy to look for low energy prices wouldn’t be too much of a stretch. To that end, some companies are already building products to help, among them software maker Cassatt, which makes energy price-routing software.

But there is a drawback. This approach doesn’t cut down on energy consumption at all, just energy-related costs — and, in fact, could contribute to more energy being used by the increased routing.