[Beowulf] Electricity cost: a critical survival issue of our ICT infrastructures.

Hearns, John john.hearns at mclaren.com
Mon Apr 8 01:58:19 PDT 2013

Dear friends,

Energy cost will massively grow within this and next decade because of
decreasing oil and gas supply and rapidly growing electricity demand. 
For the time from 2008 until 2030 the electricity comsumption growth 
of all our ICT infrastructures has been predicted by a factor of 30
--- if current trends continue. Also the price per kWh will probably grow 
by another factor, so that the electricity cost to run our ICT infrastructures 
may grow by a factor of 100 or even more during this period of time.

I shall play devil's advocate here.
We are basing this hypothesis on two axioms which are not necessarily true.
(I think they are true - however let's step back and think about the assumptions we are making)

a) humankind will inevitably demand, build and find uses for computing systems with ever increasing numbers of fixed point of
floating point operations per second.
Devil's advocate time - we can simply declare that no new faster system will be built

b) if systems with ever increasing numbers of fixed/floating point operations per second are built they will inevitably require
more electrical power.
By this I mean - maybe some new disruptive technology will come along (quantum computing?) and we will not have a race to add yet more
Cores consuming yet ore watts to systems.

As I say I don't believe either of (a) or (b)  - else I would be removed
from the Union of HPC Wranglers and the Confraternity of Supercomputer Mavens (Southeast England Branch Local)


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