Energy consumption is likely to be a primary concern for the data center going into the new year, but there is a bright side: Higher costs are leading to a flood of new ideas on how to cut use.
Internetnews.com just did a profile of a company called Validus DC Systems, a start-up focused on new ways to convert the AC power supplied by the electric company to the DC power used by desktops.
It turns out that there's a slight loss of energy -- and associated heat generation -- during the conversion process, which is magnified as more devices are added to the network. While the company is keeping its technological secrets close to the vest, it looks as if it is proposing a centralized unit that would convert all power coming into the data center into DC in one step, eliminating the need for a multiple-conversion system throughout the enterprise.
The company claims it can improve efficiency some 40 percent.
Right now, Validus is making the rounds of the venture capital set, so it's probably a little early to see actual hardware in use. But it's an interesting idea. nonetheless. And if 2008 is as tough a year for energy as the experts predict, every little bit will help.