How much power do the servers consume?

Published on Mar 19, 2022

With the pandemic, most of our activities have moved online. In a way, we are addicted to screens. Though we carry out most of our activities in the form of apps or software, the back-end support to such architecture is powered by the hardware in the form of servers. Most of the servers can be found in a Datacenter

There are an estimated 400 million servers across the world as of 2020. That’s a lot, right? Ever wondered about the energy consumption pattern of servers, as they play a crucial part in our daily life, right from Google searches to watching sports & movies on OTTs?

Here’s something about the servers:

Servers usually come with a single or two-socket. A single-socket server consumes 118W and a two-socket server 365W.

Image by Michael Jormoluk from Pixabay

Each server runs at a different capacity, depending on the load we put on them.

Let’s calculate the power consumption of a single server for a year:

For a single socket which is rated at 118W at running 10% capacity, 24 hrs a day consumes 118W*10%*24*365 days = 103368 Wh or 103 units/yr

For a two-socket server, it consumes 319740 Wh or 320 units/ yr

But all the servers need not run at 100% capacity all the time, right? From a study, it is estimated that most of the servers run at 50% capacity.

So a single-socket server running at 50% capacity consumes 515 units/ yr and a two-socket server consumes 1600 units/ yr

As we have 400 million servers across the world, let’s assume they all run at the 50% capacity. Also, let’s assume that the mix to be 75:25 with 75% of the servers (300 mn) to be single socket and 25% of the servers (100mn) to be double-socket.

The power consumption of the servers across the world:

Single-socket: 300mn * 515 units/ yr = 154500 mn units/ yr or 154.5 TWh

Double-socket: 100mn * 1600 units/ yr = 160000 mn units/ yr or 160 TWh

The total consumption of servers across the world=154.5+160= 314.5 TWh**

For comparison, the total power consumption of India is 1400 TWh and the above consumption stands 11th if it were a country.


**The exact consumption may not be as precise as above. We have used a simple and step-by-step approach to know where the consumption stands.



Written by Zodhya

About Zodhya

We are Zodhya, a start-up that provides AI-based tech to reduce energy bills and lower emissions for commercial buildings and industries.