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Posted 2007-11-09 by Tony Walsh
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Comment posted by Surfdaddy
November 11, 2007 @ 7:02 pm
Yeah, I think you're right. I don't believe there is a single SL eco-initiative that really takes a hard look at the energy costs associated with a large-scale server farm or the per-avatar energy costs of using SL. I didn't try to tackle that question directly in my "Sustainability Grrls" article, but I did hit the issue head in a previous article I wrote on Robert Redford's "The Green" series inside SL:

"According to Tufts University, the average desktop computer uses about 120 Watts (the monitor uses 75 Watts, and the CPU uses 45 Watts). Laptops use considerably less, around 30 Watts total. It would take 34,000169,000 trees to offset the amount of CO2 required to run 500 computers around the clock."

I saw Nick Carr's calculations along these lines. I know that IT Infrastructure Architects are looking hard at these costs, with some pretty heavy duty modeling of HVAC, wattage, air flow, heat dissipation, data center construction, rack placement, etc. Even without a carbon tax, it is still in the interest of the corporate bottom line to reduce energy consumed off the grid.

I haven't seen a complete analysis (perhaps Sun Microsystems has done it) showing calculations for data center costs associated with an SL conference vs. jet fuel, auto, electricity, and other costs associated with a real world conference. I'd be very interested in taking a look at the numbers and the assumptions if anyone has done it.
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