Monday, January 26, 2015
Do you remember the first office you ever worked in? Mine was a very old building in downtown Memphis. The fluorescent lights buzzed overhead, turning everyone a sickly green. When I plugged an electrical cord into the wall, I saw a spark occasionally. When it got stuffy in my office, I would brace myself and tug open the old wooden window, which would often stick. Boy, it was fun!
The economy of the 21st Century is built on a foundation of knowledge and information sharing. For companies, this accumulated knowledge is stored in vast computer data centers. These data centers store data, network computer and information systems, and in the case of FedEx, help manage a complex worldwide operation. A major operational and environmental cost of running these data centers, however, is the consumption of vast amounts of energy, approximately 1.5% of all electricity used in the US in 2007 according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). That number is expected