Tech Firms Try to Curb Networks' Energy Use

In the face of rising costs and concern about global warming, the IT industry is trying to create standards for measuring energy efficiency

A world in which networks stream feature-length Hulu movies to laptops and virtual worlds to PCs requires a whole lot of power to run the servers, routers, desktop computers, and other gear that make it all possible. The electricity used by servers alone doubled from 2000 to 2005, to about 123 billion kilowatt-hours, and if current trends continue, data-center power use is likely to increase by 76% by 2010, according to Jonathan Koomey, a researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Labs and Stanford University. But in the face of rising power costs and increased attention to climate change, network hardware makers and service providers are starting to work on curbing networks' energy use.

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