Department of Computer Science Seminar

Title: Data Centers: Big, Hungry and Proliferating

Speaker: Dr Tom W. Keller

Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm, May 2nd, 2008

Location: Nueces Conference Room


Commercial computer servers have grown not just in numbers but also in their 
individual power demands, resulting in an alarming electric consumption trend. 
Today's kitchen refrigerator-sized rack of computers can now weigh as much as 
a Toyota Camry and consume as much electricity as 15 homes.  Data centers, 
buildings which house tens to hundreds of racks, cost up to a billion dollars 
to construct and now account for 2% of the electricity consumed in the U.S., 
a figure which has doubled in the last five years.  Austin and San Antonio 
house some of the world's largest.

In an energy-constrained world this growth is unsustainable and comes at 
increasingly unacceptable social costs.  In response, computer manufacturers 
are refocusing their commercial server designs towards energy efficiency for 
the first time.  This talk describes the energy challenges of supporting 
the world-wide internet and what governments, electric utilities and the 
computer industry are doing about them.