The power of technology

In 1999, Peter Huber and Mark Mills projected that half the world’s supply of electricity is going to be consumed by our computers.

If you consider that the major search engines have about 2 million servers, each shedding about 300 watts each year, linked to hard drives shedding about 50% more than that again, and about half of the total is taken by the cost of cooling these great heat sources, which added to the system inefficiencies might add up to about 5 gigawatts. That’s about as much as Las Vegas on the hottest day of the year.

So whilst we are so concerned about sustainability, perhaps we might like to think about how we can design our computer networks to be more efficient… Bechtolsheim has a few ideas that could turn out to be interesting – and he’s done it before.
In case you missed out on Bechtolsheim, you might want to think about Cisco, Google, Microsoft and Sun. He provided the first outside money for Brin and Page, founded Sun, was a major early investor with Microsoft and invented some Ethernet switches that were bought  by Cisco… That a heck of a record for the German.

When asked whether the huge infrastructure overheads of the current IT regime gives an unassailable advantage to the big players, he responded, “Only if no one changes the game.”

Here’s the full story…

One comment on “The power of technology

  1. I remember the days when offices had only a type writer in them and if you were lucky an electric typewriter was all the rage. Also I remember the arcade games era of the early 1980’s to when people played Space Invaders or Pacman. A computer in this period was not imaginable as to what it can do today and many a person spent time typing drafts and re writing them over and over again. Technology has come a long way since then but if you were lucky enough to have lived in the late 70’s and early 80’s you remember a different time

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