One day without data centers equals the loss of three everyday conveniences
Think your daily routine doesn't rely heavily on data centers? Think again.
While Tom’s two kids are finishing breakfast, he checks his email, then today’s traffic on his phone. He listens to “Planet Money” while they drive to school before he prepares for the worst part of his commute. Tom hasn’t even reached the office, but he’s already utilized a service three times that most people are oblivious to – and it’s not the internet.
It’s the data center few people see, but billions of people depend on to keep their phones and other devices connected. A Nielsen study estimates 3.4 billion people around the world spend on average six and a half hours online per day.
While one day without data centers would impact most of our daily activities, below are three modern conveniences we would lose.
1. Streaming your favorite show or movie
Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon have over 300 million subscribers around the world, and streaming has become the new norm of watching movies and TV shows. This increasing popularity of streaming resulted in Netflix alone accounting for 15% of the total downstream volume of traffic across the entire internet.
2: Shopping online for every day needs
Online commerce introduced us to hassle-free shopping anywhere and anytime. In 2018, over one billion people compared prices, read others’ reviews and ordered online. In the U.S., Amazon Prime alone has over 100 million subscribers, over two thirds of American households.
3: Catching up with friends on social media
Getting news updates, re-connecting with friends from childhood or discovering new friends with common interests, social media offers various benefits to all users. Users like social media enough to spend over two hours on average per day, about 15% of the time we are awake.
Whether it is spending time on social media or streaming movies, a combination of technologies helps us enjoy our connected lives, and data centers are the little-known part of this infrastructure. Data centers store, process and distribute data to enable our daily need for connectivity.
Every day we drive the need for more data centers, making them one of the largest consumers of energy. In 2016, data centers around the world collectively consumed more electricity than the world’s fifth largest economy; the United Kingdom. And this is why Cummins is putting its brightest minds into delivering technologies that can make data centers more sustainable.
Making data centers more energy efficient
Typically, a data center acquires energy in the form of electricity from the power grid. While this brings the advantage of convenience, it also has an often-overlooked environmental cost. This cost is due to the inefficiencies in centrally producing the electricity and distributing it through large geographies, where there are transmission and distribution losses.
Cummins has partnered with Microsoft and McKinstry to evaluate the potential of fuel cells in improving efficiency, reducing emissions and cutting costs. Powering datacenters with natural gas-powered fuel cells could improve energy efficiency by preventing these losses. When the fuel cells deliver the savings, the result is less environmental impact in powering ever expanding data centers.
Learn more about Cummins and how our products power data centers around the world
If you are interested in career opportunities relevant to the data center industry, check out internship and employment opportunities with Cummins, where you can partner with our customers in the data center industry.