App Engine allows developers to build web applications, then host them on Google’s servers. The approach allows third parties to make use of the same scalable technology that Google’s own applications use. The company told GigaOm that this “platform as a service” system is 10 times more efficient than an “infrastructure as a service” approach.
The improved efficiencies stem partly from Google’s approach of building all its data centers and servers from the ground up in an effort in maximize efficiency. Another reason for the efficiency is the sharing of computing power across many different users, with different computing needs, Google says.
“We have massive multi-tenancy; we’re serving over a million applications on this thing, we have a quarter million active developers on it,” Peter Magnusson, a director of engineering at Google told GigaOm. Magnusson compares the efficiencies to those inherent in a mult-tenant skyscraper.
The service is also carbon-neutral, as are all the company’s operations, Google said.
Recent data center innovations announced by Google include a thermal storage system for a data center planned for Changhua County, Taiwan. Thermal storage systems, typically employing ice or liquid coolant, are used to cool buildings in the day through a heat exchange when outside temperatures and electricity rates are at their highest and air conditioning systems are at their most costly.
At night, when temperatures and electricity prices drop, the ice or coolant is refrozen or cooled, ready for use the next day.
In March, the internet giant announced that its data center in Georgia was the internet firm’s first US-based data center to conserve water using a water reuse system. The system, financed by Google and owned by the Douglas County Water and Sewer Authority, is helping to keep the Chattahoochee River clean and conserve the reservoir’s water supply, the water authority said.
Results released in September 2011 show that the Internet giant’s data centers draw 260 MW of power, more than Salt Lake City. In 2010 the company used 2,259,998 MWh of energy.