Data Center Power Usage and Money Savings

Thinking 8760 is a site that is dedicated to promoting Energy Efficiency in Data Centers, Networks and throughout the entire computing infrastructure. A nice creative name. As stated on this site “Thinking 8760 means making strategic IT and Facilites management decisions, based on the precept that every Kilowatt of computing related load saved (or wasted) equals 8760 kWH per year”. Or 35 Megawatt Hours over 4 years.

So a nice slogan but what is the amount of money we are talking about with Thinking 8760? To make a rough estimate I took a table of electricity prices from Wikipedia and using the exchange rate of 1.00 USD = 0.733783 EUR gave the following table of yearly or 4 years costs for a kiloWatt.

Power Usage and Money savings

As you can see, you can save a buck with thinking 8760. The differences between the countries are huge. The prices ranges from 397 till 2393 euro for a kiloWatt a year.

We have servers in all kind of flavors that have a different power consumption. Making use of  the report “ESTIMATING TOTAL POWER CONSUMPTION BY SERVERS IN THE U.S. AND THE WORLD” of  Jonathan G. Koomey of Stanford University the power usage of low, mid and high range server  are estimated on 180, 420, and  4800 Watt. So thinking 8760 this means with 1 kiloWatt you can use 5.5, 2.3 and 0.2 servers for the low, mid and high-end server range. Wrong estimations or over-engineering can quickly lead to some servers more than you essentially need. But as you can see it comes with an energy price and an energy spilling.

With this rough estimate calculation you know your energy money spending or savings. The other eye opener is, location matters. The location of your data center can make a difference. So can this be the starting of moving your IT workload, on the virtualized infrastructure, to the place where the energy price is the lowest? You can ask your local provider 🙂

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