Comparing The Real Costs Of Data Servers

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Daily news of the earth’s dwindling supply of traditional energy sources has succeeded in raising energy costs as well as the environmental consciousness of consumers. Today’s businesses face the unprecedented challenge of being socially responsible while remaining competitive.

A recent research report released by Technavio presented the following information:

  • Today’s servers consume an average of 300 watts, compared to earlier servers, which consumed from 50-80 watts.
  • In most data centers, servers consume almost 27% of total power consumption.
  • Global sales of data center IT equipment are expected to increase to approximately 101.51 billion dollars in annual revenue by 2019.

These facts and their impact on operational expenditures led Rakesh Panda, a senior analyst at Technavio, to predict that businesses would be moving towards more energy-efficient IT infrastructure over the next four years.

Energy efficiency was one of the topics at the 2016 HiPEAC ( High Performance and Embedded Architecture and Compilation) conference in Prague. The conference attracted experts in computer architecture and operating systems from all over the world. A workshop on micro servers presented results from 3 major research projects. One of the goals of the workshop was to provide education about customized low power servers based on energy-efficient embedded processors. Micro servers offer a low-cost, energy-efficient alternative that targets applications that benefit from individual servers.

Currently, there are three types of commonly used servers:

  • Rack servers

Rack servers, or traditional data center servers, are still the most common type. The market for rack servers was valued at 21.05 billion dollars in 2014. They are installed in systems that include storage arrays, switches and backup batteries. Available in several sizes, one of the smallest is an A 1U rack server, which is 19 inches wide and 1.75 inches tall. For businesses that rely on several separate servers, the cost of providing adequate storage space for servers can be substantial. Two popular aspects of rack servers are innovations in power efficiency and expert operational support for end customers.

  • Blade servers

The 2014 global blade server market was valued at 9.21 billion dollars, which shows that their ultra-compact design is increasing in popularity. One major benefit of blade servers is that they are installed directly inside the chassis, which reduces the amount of both complex cabling and electrical power necessary for operation. It also reduces the number of cooling fans required and increases the efficiency of Ethernet and fiber channel switches.

  • Micro servers

The 104 global micro server market was valued at approximately 0.62 billion dollars. One reason that the market for micro servers has grown more slowly is that the initial cost is higher compared to the other two types of servers. However, they are considered ideal for use in containerized data centers, and for web and online services. The requirements for delivering elements to a web page is predictable, which allows the circuitry to be customized for specific tasks, thereby conserving energy. Scalability is another benefit as more servers can easily be added to accommodate an increase in online traffic.

IT experts continue to find innovative ways to conserve precious natural resources and reduce energy costs, and that’s good news for business.


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