Communications of the ACS, Vol 1, No 001 (2008)

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The Greening of Datacenters

Mazin Yousif


Green has become the buzzword of the industry for few years; you hear about green datacenters, green enterprise computing, green grids, green servers, green initiatives and green everything. It has become so contagious that everyone tries to out-green their competition and label their approach greener than the others. Good, bad, overly done, need more concerted efforts or wide mobilization…? All these efforts are blissfully commended as our computing infrastructures have insatiable desires to consume as much power as offered – a model that is not sustainable as the rate at which we add computing resources far exceeds the available and planned power capacities. In fact, one survey by the Uptime Institute ( showed that 42% of respondents claim they would run out of power capacity in 2-5 years. Of course, not to mention the associated real environmental ramifications such as greenhouse gas emission. The positive side of this is that we realized that we have a power consumption problem (many datacenters consume more power than the cities they are hosted in) and the computing community is working feverishly to funnel efforts to resolve it. Imagine a total electric bill to operate datacenters world-wide in the 10’s of Billions of US Dollars.