the cost to run things

Surprisingly little attention goes into the fact that most computer installation run 24/7 and use power that needs to be bought. Electricity bills are often perceived like taxes or any other act of god: An expense needed in order to do business. As long the competition get’s hit as well, what’s there to think about?


The ‘digital negative’ of the movie we just finished was 140 Terrabytes. That got me thinking: what if we would have tried to keep it all online. The installation of those disks would have used 8,750 Watts. Double that for cooling and you would have spent 16,863 US dollar to keep all those spindles spinning for a year. (at 11 cents a KW/h).

That does matter in my book. Since I can never remember anything I thought I would try to come up with a approximation of cost per 1000 Watts. It looks as if realities don’t get bent too much when assuming 80 US$ per 1KW per month, or 1000 US$ per year. Double that if you have to cool the room the machines live in. Which is always the case. The variables here are the efficiency on the cooling and the actual price not being 11cents. Actuall and nominal Wattage might also differ. But close numbers are better than no numbers, or numbers that are so complex to calculate that they never be taken into account.

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