You may never have given it much thought but when you upload photos to a sharing site, open multiple email accounts and log onto Twitter, an out-of-sight data centre somewhere is storing all this information. We investigate the hidden phenomenon called "the cloud".
A new book “Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)” by author Tom Vanderbilt investigates the growing need to produce the most computing power per square foot at the lowest possible cost in energy and resources. All of which reveals this new hidden phenomenon.
According to a recent article in the New York Times entitled, 'Data Center Overload', data centres worldwide now consume more energy annually than Sweden. From 2000 to 2005, the aggregate electricity use by data centres doubled, and accoridn to the piece, "the cloud", now consumes 1 to 2 percent of the world’s electricity.
In the images featured above the NJ2 data centre, in New Jersey. Attention is now shifting to making servers less energy intensive and to spurring innovation in the design and form of the data center itself.
One of Microsoft’s data centres (above) is a 500,000-square-foot facility that was built on a bean field in Quincy, Wash., in 2006.
Photo Credit: Simon Norfolk for The New York Times