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Data Centers Push Power Threshold

Green IT may be the buzz word on everyone's lips, but data centers are still consuming power at an alarming rate, at least according to the latest research from the Uptime Institute.

A study from the research organization, which will be released in a joint report with McKinsey next month, shows that servers, storage, and networking gear are actually swallowing more energy than was originally thought.

Energy consumption at the largest user sites grew 20 to 30 percent annually in 2006 and 2007, according to the Uptime Institute's study, significantly more than the 9 percent growth predicted by the EPA between 2006 and 2010.

To cope with this level of demand, 10 new power plants will be needed within the U.S. by 2010, and an additional 20 by 2015.

If data center energy consumption continues at this rate, then it will take more than some clever marketing from storage vendors to save the day. It looks increasingly likely that the U.S. government will have to step in and get things under control.

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