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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Does A Big Carbon Footprint Imply A Big Carbon Penis?

The topic of this article from is actually the carbon footprint of Google and other IT companies. But I was impressed by something else:

The number of servers used by Google and the rate at which they grow almost beggars belief. In March 2001, Google had around 8,000 servers.

In a January, 2005, CBS 60 Minutes TV programme, Google said it had over 100,000 servers on which it stores a cached version of every page it knows about on the Internet.

The New York Times article reckoned the total had grown to 100,000 servers in 2003 and 450,000 spread across 25 global datacentres in June 2006.

Now it is one year later and we can reasonably suppose that the total has passed half a million and that they are spread across 40 to 60 datacentres, meaning an average of over 8,000 servers per datacentre. Once the five new US datacentres are built that would mean an additional 40,000 servers taking the server total to 550,000, unless older datacentres are retired.

Emphasis mine. British spelling not mine.

Cool. The Internet is huge and only growing larger. Personally, I think amount of easily accessible information spread all over the world is worth the carbon emissions involved in sustaining it. That's not to diminish Google's efforts to reduce its emissions, of course, as long as they are voluntary.

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