Data centre energy use jumps 13 per cent

The amount of energy used by European data centres climbed by more than 13 per cent between 2006 and 2007.

More than 16.3TWh were consumed by servers in Western Europe in 2007. The same amount of electricity could power all street lighting and traffic signals in the UK for almost two years, the report claimed.

"Such a rise in energy demands can be explained by the growing number of active servers in the region, but also by the electricity requirement that machines, on average, have due to multicore technology and enhanced hardware features," said Giorgio Nebuloni, IDC research analyst.

Consumption levels in Western Europe are estimated to have surpassed 40TWh in 2007, according to IDC. In 2008, it is expected to grow even higher to more than 42TWh.

"Last year, 1.6 billion (1.3 billion) was spent on powering servers throughout Western Europe, which translated into 4.4 billion for entire data centres," said Nathaniel Martinez program director, European Enterprise Servers. "Unless a drastic change in products and company practices occurs, things will not get any better in the future."

Companies may look to virtualisation, as it can reduce energy use and costs and increase security.