Are there really 509,147 datacenters worldwide?

With over a half-million datacenters in operation worldwide, perhaps the emphasis on saving just a small amount of energy in each facility will eventually show significant economic results.
Written by David Chernicoff, Contributor on

There are if you believe the Emerson Network Power estimates as presented on an infographic they just released that outlines their impressions of the State of the Data Center 2011. The infographic is designed to demonstrate the critical nature of the datacenter backend to everyday living for our very technologically connected societies.

Emerson points out that just about every interaction the average user has with the net results in information passing through a datacenter somewhere, and that all of the interactions, both personal and business, will result in the creation of more than 1.2 trillion GB of data per year, all of which is stored, massaged, and distributed in and from datacenters somewhere.

The infographic also points out the dependence of business and society in general on datacenters staying up and functional and uses the very unfortunate term "too big to fail" to describe the potential consequences of worldwide datacenter downtime, even at current actual levels,  and its effect on the global economy.

Curiously enough, especially considering the source of this data, the infographic doesn't address the global impact of datacenters on worldwide energy usage and the impact that more efficient datacenters has on datacenters being able to deliver services. It does point out that the computing capacity purchased in 2011 is on the order of 45 times greater, on a preserver basis, than the hardware in the same role a decade ago. The equipment is more capable and does deliver more computing power for the energy consumed, but energy demands by datacenters have also grown significantly since 2001.

The infog gives an interesting quick look at the state of the datacenter in 2011, but it doesn't completely deliver on assessing the impact of datacenters on the economy.

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