Data Centers Will Run on Green Energy, But Boot the Little Guys Out


Photo via Barmala

Data Centers are greening up right and left thanks to the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses mentality of the IT industry.

A new report, Microsoft and Google: Cloud Computing Dominance Through Renewable Energy, however, states that computing companies that can buy green power in bulk will be the only ones able to keep running in the future, since green power will be cheaper than that from fossil fuels. From Earth2Tech:

The problem, argues author Steve Denegri, a IT consultant and financial analyst, is that data centers face two unstoppable forces - the need to increase computing power, which requires upping the energy per square foot, and the increasing price of electricity. Together, these two forces are sending data center operation costs through the roof. With carbon regulations likely coming into effect with the next administration, the only power sources with predictable and declining costs will be clean, renewable generation, and those who control those sources will have a competitive advantage when it comes to running power-hungry data centers.

While green power as the main energy source for data centers is great news, the notion that it could create a monopolistic environment is definitely not good news.

A new business model of "utility computing" that combines data center services and energy is coming to pass because of energy trends — the big players in data center operations are the only ones that can stay alive because they're the only ones who will be able to buy the cheapest green power.

From the Report:

Microsoft and Google, in particular, are leveraging the energy conundrum in such a way as to bolster their own individual data center strategies, and they are using their enormous leverage to create formidable barriers to entry that will increasingly make the "build versus buy" decision an easy one....The end goal that Microsoft and Google are aiming to achieve seems to be to "get off the grid," meaning that they desire for their data centers to have their own dedicated supply of energy rather than connect to the public power grid.

This will be an interesting trend to keep an eye on as energy sources shift toward solar, wind, and other renewables.

Via Earth2Tech
More on Data Centers Using Renewable Energy:
Google Floats A Data Center Patent: Offshore, Ocean-Cooled, Wave-Powered, And Modular
Dispatches from OpenWorld: Growing a Green Data Center
Microsoft to Google: My PUE is Getting Better Than Your PUE

Tags: Alternative Energy | Google | Renewable Energy