Microsoft to slash datacentre cooling spend by 75 percent

Microsoft is planning to slash the amount spent on the cooling of servers at its datacentres across the world, aiming to drastically increase efficiency over the next two years.

The firm, which currently accounts for around three percent of all x86 servers sold worldwide each quarter, is looking to reduce the average power usage effectiveness (PUE) from 2.00 to 1.25, equal to a 75 percent boost in efficiency.

PUE is a measure of how much power is used in non-IT applications such as cooling and lighting, with the target of 1.25 meaning that for every watt used for processing purposes 0.25 watts are used for such facilities.

So by reducing the PUE it will bring Microsoft more closely into line with other firms such as Google, whose datacentres run at between 1.10 and 1.21, and Facebook, which is even more eco-friendly with a PUE of 1.07.

According to the Senior Director at Microsoft’s Global Foundation Services departmetn, Rik Batten, this could mean the implementation of “airside economisation” and “adiabatic cooling” in order to reduce the need for the firm’s extenisve range of datacentres, which Bakken claims would make Microsoft the world’s fifth largest network if it were an ISP.

And it appears that with Microsoft moving towards cloud services with its datacentres, it seems that greater efficiency will have a positive impact on Microsoft’s pockets as well as environmental benefits.

“Cloud computing is going to make the last four years look like a speed bump, we’ve got that much activity,” Bakken told ZDNet.