Monday, February 1, 2010

Key Scientific Challenges, Entry #1: Green Computing

Increasing demand for the Web services and applications that have become such a central part of our lives (like email and Web video, just to name a few) is also causing a steady rise in the need for more and more computing power to make all of theses services work and work well. When we talk about computing power, we’re often talking specifically about data centers, buildings that house thousands and thousands of servers working 24-hours-a-day to make sure that the Web sites you want are there on your screen and on your phone when you want them. Of course, while the performance of servers is improving almost everyday, making all kinds of new innovations possible, they also require a lot of power. They need so much power that a 2007 joint report by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory revealed that energy consumption from data centers had doubled between 2000 and 2006 and was expected to double again by 2011. More>