Data Centers to Play Football with the United States Congress

by Mike Rinaldi on 10/11/12 3:50 PM

The fallout from the Sunday September 23rd NY Times front page article entitled “Power, Pollution and the Internet” which was purported as an “investigative reporting” piece has begun to spread.   In my last blog, I jokingly remarked that “the general public would go out and tweet and post Facebook tirades on their newest iPhones”.  Well it has clearly moved beyond that.

Only a few days later on Sept 27, Ranking Committee Members of the US House of Representatives Henry A. Waxman, Member Bobby L. Rush and Anna G. Eshoo sent letters to the US Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “to request an update on efforts to improve energy efficiency in data centers across the county”.  

This was posted as an open letter to the US EPA and DOE in effect demanding an explanation of how and why they could allow the apparently flagrant energy and environmental disaster equivalent of the Exxon Valdez oil spill happen, while these two major government agencies ignored the travesty. The letter specifically cited the NY Times article as the cause for their concerns and the motivating force behind the letter. Perhaps by triggering the open letter from members of Congress, the NY Times may feel they have brought “justice” to the ostensibly polluting, wasteful world of the Data Center Industry,  in the same vein as the Washington Post’s breaking open of the Watergate scandal.  

I agree that there are many "older" data centers that are less efficient than the newest designs.  There is no question that there is always room for improvement in almost any system or process and the data center is no exception.  However, the NY Times article did not provide both sides of the issue, perhaps because that would have made it less controversial.

Published on 8th October 2012 by Julius Neudorfer, Data Center Dynamics

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Topics: data center infrastructure, reduce cost, Data Center, data center design, data center energy, data center infrastructure management, Containment, electrical distribution, reduce downtime

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