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Microsoft, Google Battle Over Energy Efficiency 164

1sockchuck writes "Microsoft and Google have opened a new front in their battle for global domination: data center energy efficiency. Just weeks after Google published data on the extreme efficiency of its previously secret data centers, Microsoft says it has achieved similar results with shipping containers (despite Google's patent) packed with up to 2,500 servers. The geeky benchmark for the battle is Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE), a green data-center metric advanced by The Green Grid. Microsoft says its containers tested at a PUE of 1.22, while Google reported an average PUE of 1.21 for its data centers, which apparently are also now using containers."
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Microsoft, Google Battle Over Energy Efficiency

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  • Re:What a joke... (Score:4, Informative)

    by mpsheppa ( 1088477 ) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @06:50AM (#25451317)
    The power usage during standby is only about 1-2 watts on a decent PC these days. The power usage during hibernation is also about 1-2 watts and the power usage while OFF is about 1-2 watts as well. So unless you are actually prepared to turn your PC off at the wall then they are right, standby mode is generally the best way of saving power because the speed to resume from standby means that you can put the PC into standyby mode much more often than you would turn it off and the PC can put itself into standyby mode automatically.
  • SWaP (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @06:52AM (#25451341)

    I like Sun's SWaP metric [] because its value is based on a business operation that you can define.

    And as the article mentions, datacentres in a shipping container are like, sooo 2006 [] .

  • by tombeard ( 126886 ) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @07:19AM (#25451469)

    You do know that a patent doesn't prevent you from building and using a patented device? You just can't sell them. In fact, making the information available was the reason for patents.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @07:29AM (#25451539)

    Not quite -
      The exclusive right granted to a patentee in most countries is the right to prevent or exclude others from making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing the invention.

  • Re:What a joke... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @07:40AM (#25451595) Journal

    A "typical" PC, of which there are none, will likely pull 125-200W at startup. It runs full out, afaik, until power management kicks in. For my laptop, it takes nearly 5 minutes* from power switch to useful (as judged by both disc activity and inability to accept keystrokes in realtime). So 1/12 hr x 125W = 10 watt-hours. That's ten hours in standby if standby is 1W over hibernation/off.

    It has a huge benefit to usability, though. Being able to "turn on" the machine and have a working browser over a wireless link in less than 10 seconds is quite a feature. It's the difference between flipping on the machine to check the weather (standby) and knowing that you can probably wait for "weather on the 8s" on the weather channel faster (cold boot).

    * Yes, that sucks royally. Thanks, Microsoft, et al., for your inability to load programs efficiently. About 4 minutes of that time is _after_ I login. In comparison, I can come out of hibernation (i.e. - transfer 2GB from the disc back to memory) in about 30 seconds.

  • Re:What a joke... (Score:3, Informative)

    by hcdejong ( 561314 ) <hobbes AT xmsnet DOT nl> on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @08:24AM (#25451877)

    True, but switches on the outlet are pretty much UK-only, as are plugs that include a fuse. Other 230 V-countries don't use them.

  • by jcupitt65 ( 68879 ) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @08:32AM (#25451949)

    The PC electronics only burns 1-2 watts in standby, but the large and idle power supply will burn another 8 or so.

    Or at least that's the way my imac is. I got a watt meter and it's 70w at full power, 40w in low-power mode, 10w in standby and 10w when off. It only goes to zero when you unplug it.

    My laptop is the same: the charger burns 7w even when you don't plug it in to the laptop.

  • Re:Containers (Score:2, Informative)

    by arthurp ( 1250620 ) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @12:47PM (#25455539)
    Almost all containers used in the US are recycled. It's cheaper in general to make new containers in China to ship good to the US than to ship the empty containers back to China. So there is a build up of containers in the US. So used containers are really cheap.

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