The Data On Data Centers
Facebook has become the leader of the Web. With more than 500 million users spending 700 billion minutes per month on the site, the server needs are immense.
The social media giant currently rents nine data centers in the United States and is building another in Oregon.
Essentially banks of thousands of servers, Facebook is currently using around 60,000 servers, the energy costs of operating these data centers are substantial. The average data center uses between 2.25 and six megawatts of power—that's enough to power between 1,730 and 4,615 homes.
However, through various energy efficiency measures, the new Facebook data center will have a PUE (power usage effectiveness) of 1.15. What that means is a savings of 2.5 million kilowatt hours per year, which equals a savings of around $230,000 per year. The company also reduces carbon emissions by more than 1,000 tons annually. That’s equal to 332 cars or 211 homes.
PUE is a metric used to determine the energy efficiency of a data center. It is calculated by dividing the amount of power entering the data center by the amount of power used to run the computer infrastructure within the center. It is expressed as a ration, with efficiency improving as the number decreases toward 1.
Facebook is not alone in its efforts to reduce the energy consumption of data centers. Google boasts the most energy efficient data centers in the world. The company has 36 data centers around the world and it uses a ton of energy. However, through a variety of measures, they maintain an average PUE of 1.21 and one server farm boasts a very low 1.13.
Additionally, Google uses a lead-acid battery for every server in their data centers. This gives the search engine giant a back-up power system that achieves an energy efficient rate of 99.9 percent.