Geek Alert: That Computer Cloud is Diesel-Powered – By Jerry Collamer


That magic iCloud, our e-brilliance is being beamed up to, ain’t no cloud, but warehouses stuffed with memory-servers kept running 24-7 by mammoth banks of polluting diesel generators. Click the Links below and read all about it.

Microsoft Cloud Factory, massive energy consumption and polluting

Microsoft’s Magic Cloud Machine: Don’t Inhale

Trust me, it’s worth a look. As for that Cloud? Don’t inhale. You’ll be surprised how much on-going, around the clock, earth based electrical power is required just to send a simple e-mail. And that’s just the beginning, as you click on the Links, and Text, and Twitter and Facebook, and Amazon and and and…? So much for green-computing.

James Glanz: “The Cloud Factories: Data Barns in a Farm Town, Gobbling Power and Flexing Muscle,” The New York Times

 A Quincy, Washington citizens group initiated a legal challenge over pollution from some of nearly 40 giant diesel generators that Microsoft’s facility — near an elementary school — is allowed to use for backup power. At the heart of every Internet enterprise are data centers, which have become more sprawling and ubiquitous as the amount of stored information explodes, sprouting in community after community.

wasteful data centers for internet technology
Data centers are filled with servers, which are like bulked-up desktop computers, minus screens and keyboards, that contain chips to process data. Photo: Ethan Pines - New York Times

James Glanz: “Power Pollution and the Internet ,” The New York Times

Most data centers, by design, consume vast amounts of energy in an incongruously wasteful manner, interviews and documents show. Online companies typically run their facilities at maximum capacity around the clock, whatever the demand. As a result, data centers can waste 90 percent or more of the electricity they pull off the grid, The Times found.

To guard against a power failure, they further rely on banks of generators that emit diesel exhaust. The pollution from data centers has increasingly been cited by the authorities for violating clean air regulations, documents show.


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