With a monthly energy bill big enough to throw a sheep at, Facebook and its photo and video sharing is showing what kind of an impact social networking has on the grid. From Current:
The company is likely spending well over a $1 million per month on electricity alone, say experts we’ve spoken with. Bandwidth is likely another $500,000 or more per month on top of that. The company has earmarked $100 million to buy 50,000 servers this year and next. And sources say they’ve been buying one NetApp 3070 storage system per week just to keep up with all this user generated content.
It's easy to forget that the cost of surfing Facebook and other social networks extends far beyond how much energy your computer sucks from the wall while you're sending cupcakes, taking quizzes, and pseudo-stalking your friends. 850 million photos are uploaded to the site each month (only ImageShack beats it out for most photos stored), all of which need to be stored on data servers. And we know data servers are a big issue when it comes to carbon emissions.
So, can you lower your carbon footprint by uploading fewer photos to Facebook? Why sure. But it's really on Facebook to get their act together when it comes to energy efficiency. The company is racing to keep pace with its growing popularity, but it also needs to be quick witted and savvy enough to incorporate sustainability into the mix - such as working closely with companies like PowerAssure - and take actions that will both lower their carbon impact and those monthly electricity bills and server expenses.
While there's the whole energy-gobbling issue, Facebook is a great platform to help users green up. Here's More on Green Uses of Facebook
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