Google never says how many servers are running in its data centers. But new data on Google’s energy use suggests that the company is probably running about 900,000 servers. The new estimate is based on information the company shared with Stanford professor Jonathan Koomey, who has just released an updated report on data center energy usage.
Google’s David Jacobowitz, a program manager on the Green Energy team, told Koomey that the electricity used by the company’s data centers was less than 1% of 198.8 billion kWh – the estimated total global data center energy usage for 2010. That means that Google may be running its entire global data center network in an energy footprint of roughly 220 megawatts of power.
“Google’s data center electricity use is about 0.01% of total worldwide electricity use and less than 1 percent of global data center electricity use in 2010,” Koomey writes, while cautioning that his numbers represent educated guesses extrapolated from the company’s information. “This result is in part a function of the higher infrastructure efficiency of Google’s facilities compared to in-house data centers, which is consistent with efficiencies of other cloud computing installations, but it also reflects lower electricity use per server for Google’s highly optimized servers.”