Sunday, April 13, 2008

Servers and storage will soon have energy ratings

I recently bought 2 new 500 GB external harddrives, which brings my total number of individual external drives to 7, for a grand total of 2,480 GB of external storage space, entirely filling up one-and-a-half power strips.

As we have discussed in class, servers and computer equipment are taking an increasingly large bit out of the net energy consumption of homes and businesses. As computers become more sophisticated and performance and speed become increasingly important, servers and storage become hotter and more energy-intensive.

Now, the EPA and DOE have entered the scene, instituting a voluntary program to improve energy efficiency for enterprise servers and storage devices. Read the article here.

Though this is an important step in the right direction, a voluntary program represents an insufficient approach and mindset to a real burning issue. Durable goods that consume electricity for years should be subject to mandatory efficiency limits. As is the case with many environmental programs, market based or mandatory programs yield superior results than voluntary programs like this one.

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