For years now, data centers have been consuming more energy
than companies would care to admit. Thankfully, the "green push" has convinced a number of higher-profile firms to re-evaluate their power plans and establish new methods of energizing their servers. IBM is a huge proponent of energy efficient server farms, and it seems as if Yahoo!
is hoping to one-up even it in an effort to create one of the greenest data centers on the planet.
Parking a new center near the raging waters of Niagara Falls in New York gives Yahoo! a distinct advantage: it has loads of consistant green power just across the street. Working in tandem with officials in Buffalo, NY, Yahoo! is hoping to make its future NY-based data centers one of the "cleanest utilities in the country – fed predominantly by renewable hydroelectric power from Niagara Fall
s." According to David Filo, co-founder and Chief of Yahoo!:
"A record 90% of that energy [from the Falls] will power the servers. To put that in context, the industry average is 50% or lower, with the other half dedicated mostly to keeping the servers cool. For data center geeks, we expect our Lockport, NY, data center design will have an annualized average PUE (power usage effectiveness) of 1.1 or better. To achieve that, we’ve come up with a unique building design that we call the Yahoo! Computing Coop (because it looks like something chickens live in), which is angled to take advantage of Buffalo’s microclimate, using 100% outside air to cool the servers."
The new hydro-powered center is just the first step in Yahoo! plans to push its energy demands downward in the years to come. We're hoping that rival companies take note and follow suit--the more energy efficient the Internet becomes, the more Internet there will be for all to enjoy. Talk about a win-win scenario.