Servers don't run themselves. It takes juice—the electric kind—to keep the internet live, storing data and connecting visitors to websites, online services and social networks.
The social media giant Facebook, for example, has nine third-party data centers in the US, with plans to build a tenth in Oregon. Current estimates are that Facebook uses 60,000 servers to help its more than 500 million members reconnect with people they didn't even like in high school.
The company's data centers range from from 10,000 square feet to more than 35,000 square feet, and their energy use is enormous. The average leased data center uses between 2.25 megawatts of power and 6 megawatts of power. This could provide electricity for one month to somewhere between 1,730 and 4,615 homes.
With their new data center, however, Facebook aims to lift a little of its guilt, saving approximately 2.5 million kilowatt hours per year with efficiency measures. They'll save the company $230,000 and reduce carbon emissions by more than 1,000 tons. Yahoo has also increased energy efficiency, using hydroelectric power. Google is thought to have 36 data centers, and the company claims they are among the most energy efficient in the world.
Click the pic above to see the full graphic.
Chart created by PEER 1 Dedicated Hosting
Datacenter power use visualized