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Energy Consumption Of The Cloud Sustainable?

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2396654/Your-iPhone-uses-energy-refrigerator.html

iPhones burn through significantly more energy than a new mid-sized refrigerator, according to a new study. The average new mid-sized refrigerator uses about 322 kilowatt hours a year while your iPhone uses about 361 kilowatt hours annually.

..

The world’s communications systems use 1,500 terawatt hours – 10 per cent of global energy and as much as Germany and Japan combined, according to the paper. The usage is equal to total global electricity usage in 1985.

..

By 2035, only slightly less energy will be needed to power ‘the cloud’ than for lights, the paper estimates.

It takes more energy to stream a few episodes of Breaking Bad to your iPhone than it does to stamp them onto a DVD and ship them to you, according to the paper.

Are the figures here quoted accurate? Is the global communication network using 10% of the worlds energy? Long term is this sustainable? Will technology be able to do this for less energy in the future?

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Its like all those liitle red standby lights using the entire output of a nuclear power station...BS

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2396654/Your-iPhone-uses-energy-refrigerator.html

Are the figures here quoted accurate? Is the global communication network using 10% of the worlds energy? Long term is this sustainable? Will technology be able to do this for less energy in the future?

Probbaly all gets paid back in economic efficiency gains and more. Suspect that medium term there will be very many lower end servers running of low power devices - like the arm chipsets, we already have a media and video rich demand, there's a limit to quite how much resolution you need although the increasing video on demand rollout will push demand further but your average file/cloud server in ten years time may require a fraction of the power with continuing processor/power improvements which a increased onthe other side by lower power requirements for cooling in server farms. May get a whole new breed of ultra low power server farms catering for the lower end only at really cheap pricing.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2396654/Your-iPhone-uses-energy-refrigerator.html

Are the figures here quoted accurate? Is the global communication network using 10% of the worlds energy? Long term is this sustainable? Will technology be able to do this for less energy in the future?

It is the air conditioning in the Data Centres not the machines that uses a lot of the power

In addition it is not just not the computers that use up the juice but also the numerous arrays of network devices and switches attached to them.

Edited by stormymonday_2011

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Its like all those liitle red standby lights using the entire output of a nuclear power station...BS

The old school TV's on standby I seem to remember reading that some used up to around 70% of the power compared to when switched on. Modern LCD / LED by comparison hardly use any power when off.

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The estimates are the product of extended extrapolation. The claim in the report is that 1500TWh is consumed by ALL global ICT equipment. This is then converted to "communications" in the story, implying that it's all cloud computing/comms switches. However, most the power is consumed at the edge of the network - by PCs. The same thing happened some years back when the Sunday Times claimed a web search consumed as much power as boiling a kettle. The reality was that Google's fraction of that was minimal compared to the power chewed up by the PC and its display for an individual's web search.

Edited by Spork of Damocles

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It is the air conditioning in the Data Centres not the machines that uses a lot of the power

In addition it is not just not the computers that use up the juice but also the numerous arrays of network devices and switches attached to them.

I suspect the tech boys coffee machines work harder than most of their servers.

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The source report seems to have been written by an idiot.

It kicks off with:

"...the world's ICT ecosystem uses about 1500TWh of electricity annually..."

Yet later:

"Extrapolating the US figure globally, this implies as much as 600TWh of electricity may be omitted in current worldwide commercial sector ICT accounting, increasing the upper range for all ICT end-use to roughly 1200TWh."

So, by page 31, we've lost 300TWh of usage, which by comparison is a realistic estimate of worldwide data centre consumption.

The report is from a lobby group for coal generation BTW.

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Are the figures here quoted accurate? Is the global communication network using 10% of the worlds energy?

This is wrong. The claim is 10% of electricity generation, which is itself 10% of global energy use (a lot of the energy is used for heating). So, it's only ~1% of global energy production.

Edited by Spork of Damocles

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It is the air conditioning in the Data Centres not the machines that uses a lot of the power

In addition it is not just not the computers that use up the juice but also the numerous arrays of network devices and switches attached to them.

I've always thought Data Centres were designed wrong tbh. Everyone I've been in. has blown cold air up your bum when working on a server and I thought it was warm air that rises, but what do I know.

Facebook has a new data centre within the arctic circle. You wouldn't believe the size of it! All that power for "OMG! I'm hungover"

Once looked into new Data Centre projects in East London, but power was an issue and restricted due to all the residential development and (then) upcoming Olympics

Edited by aSecureTenant

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Surely just opening the doors would cool the systems? :lol:

not with global warming, caused by excessive energy use.

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Surely just opening the doors would cool the systems? :lol:

Thats why its in the arctic circle!

I recall reading a while ago that "the internet" energy usage was on a par with the airline industry.

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Old news, Main issues covered on "Virtual Warming" on Radio 4 's Costing the Earth 2009 .

I posted on hpc forum in 09

Possible Energy Crunch For London Data Centres

- High cost of the web & pc's equals aviation Co2

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=116203

Listen Link

Virtual Warming

Duration: 30 minutes

First broadcast: Monday 20 April 2009

Every twitter, Facebook posting and You Tube video viewed has a carbon cost that is becoming increasingly dear, as our use of computers grows exponentionally.

The expanding digital cloud contributes 2 per cent of global emissions of carbon dioxide, about the same as aviation, and it's rising. The high energy demands of the massive data centres needed to store all our information are of growing concern to both the government and industry. But how can they be made greener and more efficient? Costing the Earth investigates

Interviwee summary

http://www.migsolv.com/press/radio-4-interview-costing-the-earth/

Again, the hidden consequences of technology raise their inevitable head. I

In summary, don't waste energy by posting or clicking Daily Heil Links :)

Edited by Saving For a Space Ship

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The expanding digital cloud contributes 2 per cent of global emissions of carbon dioxide, ...

"Carbon dioxide emissions" and "global" eh - code for more taxes and more control.

Sounds like an excuse to look for extra taxes for more bailouts somewhere along the line.

Edited by billybong

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It is the air conditioning in the Data Centres not the machines that uses a lot of the power

In addition it is not just not the computers that use up the juice but also the numerous arrays of network devices and switches attached to them.

Depends on the data centre - a lot of the big boys - Google, Facebook, Yahoo etc., are looking at how they can passively cool data centres or move traffic from warmer to cooler data centres on demand.

Yahoo's data centre near Buffalo is one example - http://perspectives.mvdirona.com/2011/03/05/YahooComputeCoopDesign.aspx of this

Bigger problem is all the small scale data centres and server rooms many companies have.

A few years ago worked for a business that had reasonable sized server room (1/4 size of a tennis court?) on the ground floor, I tried to get them to put in non-air conditioned based cooling i.e. draw cold air from the parking garage underneath, and then vent it out of the top of the building three stories up (or use it to heat the building in winter).

Another place I worked (only had a couple of racks) we were going to move the server room to be along an outside wall so we could draw cool air from the outside and push hot air straight out. Air con in this server room was problematic so this worked out cheaper than replacing aircon.

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Initially skeptical but now I get what they are saying...

It's saying that say x% of internet usage is mobile usage and it you look at the proportion of total internet infrastructure power usage that is used by mobile then it is substantial.

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1 (hour) * 4 (watts) * 365 (days in a year) gives 1460watt-hours, or about 1.5kWh in a year. If that's generated with coal (about 2 lbs CO2 per kWh) that's about 3 pounds of CO2.

4 watts is what An Iphone 3 uses to charge up.

the fridge uses 300 times as much.

Of course, if you add up all the energy used in the CONTENT of the fridge, its construction and its daily use, the comparison becomes nonsense,

In addition with 12 billion apps all needing support and data centre availability, 99.9% of data centre use for apps is just sitting there doing nothing...nothing to do with the Iphone, more to do with millions of hopefuls trying to sell you one of the 4 apps you actually use.

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1 (hour) * 4 (watts) * 365 (days in a year) gives 1460watt-hours, or about 1.5kWh in a year. If that's generated with coal (about 2 lbs CO2 per kWh) that's about 3 pounds of CO2.

4 watts is what An Iphone 3 uses to charge up.

the fridge uses 300 times as much.

Of course, if you add up all the energy used in the CONTENT of the fridge, its construction and its daily use, the comparison becomes nonsense,

In addition with 12 billion apps all needing support and data centre availability, 99.9% of data centre use for apps is just sitting there doing nothing...nothing to do with the Iphone, more to do with millions of hopefuls trying to sell you one of the 4 apps you actually use.

You forgot to multiply by 24 (hours). Your figures are for 1 hour per day. It's 35 Kwh if you charge at full output for 24/365. Still only about 1/8 of what my freezer uses though.

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It makes one wonder how companies like google ever make any money. All those leccy bills, and ive never bought anything because of google ads.

You don't have to Google made their money fleecing advertisers. some of it from outright fraud namely selling "quality" search engine traffic, but in effect selling you crap traffic from expired / parked domain names. Google Board should be doing some jail time IMO. along with a few other search engines bosses.

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You forgot to multiply by 24 (hours). Your figures are for 1 hour per day. It's 35 Kwh if you charge at full output for 24/365. Still only about 1/8 of what my freezer uses though.

He also forgot to account for charger losses.

Iphone chargers are rated as follows: Input: 100-240V ~ 0.15A 50-60Hz Output: 5V DC 1A

Using watts = volts * amps gives an input of 15-36W for an output of 5W, so at least 2/3 of the power (presumably more in the UK with our 240V supply) taken from the socket is dissipated as heat by the charger rather than going into your phone.

We're getting close to your freezer now!

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He also forgot to account for charger losses.

Iphone chargers are rated as follows: Input: 100-240V ~ 0.15A 50-60Hz Output: 5V DC 1A

Using watts = volts * amps gives an input of 15-36W for an output of 5W, so at least 2/3 of the power (presumably more in the UK with our 240V supply) taken from the socket is dissipated as heat by the charger rather than going into your phone.

We're getting close to your freezer now!

guy who did the figures used a smart meter to measure the throughput to the charger.

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He also forgot to account for charger losses.

Iphone chargers are rated as follows: Input: 100-240V ~ 0.15A 50-60Hz Output: 5V DC 1A

Using watts = volts * amps gives an input of 15-36W for an output of 5W, so at least 2/3 of the power (presumably more in the UK with our 240V supply) taken from the socket is dissipated as heat by the charger rather than going into your phone.

We're getting close to your freezer now!

Given that even a 30W light bulb is too hot to touch, and a charger would not be producing any light energy (All heat) these sums are demonstrably...optimistic.

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You forgot to multiply by 24 (hours). Your figures are for 1 hour per day. It's 35 Kwh if you charge at full output for 24/365. Still only about 1/8 of what my freezer uses though.

I'd have thought it was working on the basis that you need to charge your phone for an hour a day to keep it operational rather than keep it on constant charge.

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