The current hot buzzword in Information Technology (IT) circles is “cloud computing,” the concept of a shared grid of computer resources, made available to a wide range of consumers in an on-demand, self-service and pay-as-you-go fashion. Even those not immersed in the arcane details of IT are aware of the latest must have techno-doodad from Apple Computer—the iPad. Proving that they can find a dark cloud to go with any silver lining, the perennial eco-pessimists from Greenpeace have declared that the combination of iPads and cloud computing are going to greatly accelerate mankind's march to a planet frying future.
The IT industry is currently engaged in a mad scramble to define the future of data processing based on the concept of cloud computing. In the process of doing so, a number of high-tech heavy hitters—including Amazon
, Google, IBM, Microsoft and a legion of silicon valley start-ups—are racing to build huge new data centers containing hundreds of thousands of computer servers each. It is certainly true that data centers are getting bigger all the time.
Data Center Knowledge recently put together a list
of the world's 10 largest data centers, ranging between 400,000 and 1.1 million square feet. The list includes such super-sized data centers as the Vegas SuperNAP, Microsoft's container data center and the Lakeside Technology Center. Filling these cavernous data centers are rack upon rack of new computer servers. Google is rumored to run more than 2 million servers while Microsoft is adding 30,000 new machines each month.
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