By Penny Crosman
When we heard that Bank of America is installing -- brace yourselves, gentlemen -- waterless urinals in the "green" skyscraper it's building near Bryant Park for its investment banking operation, we realized that Wall Street is starting to take energy and water conservation seriously. Not that we've come across many tree-huggers on the Street, but for very practical business reasons, technology executives are looking to reduce the power consumed by their data centers -- the primary electricity guzzlers in any company -- even as their computing needs grow.
"So watt," you say? Following are five reasons why you should care about the megawatts of energy flowing through your data centers:
1. The amount of juice soaked up by giant server farms is growing fast -- it literally doubled between 2000 and 2005, according to a report out of Berkeley National Laboratory. And power consumption by the world's data centers is predicted to increase by an additional 40 percent by 2010, the research found. The growth is fueled by the increasing number of installed, low-end volume servers -- typically systems costing less than $25,000, including racks of blades -- more than the actual energy usage per server.