On its surface, the issue is simple. Inside the massive data centers that drive today’s businesses, technical staffers have a tendency to just throw extra servers at a computing problem. They hope that by piling on the processors, they can keep things from grinding to a halt — and not get fired. But they don’t think much about how efficient those servers are.
The industry talks a lot about the power efficiency of data centers as a whole — i.e. how much of the data center’s total power is used for computing — but it doesn’t look as closely at the efficiency of the servers inside these computing facilities — how much of the time they’re actually doing work. And it turns out that getting a fix on this is pretty hard.
Much of this is part and parcel to the big guys in the industry stunting the needed evolution so they can continue to sell legacy equipment that doesn’t address today’s problems.
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