Yesterday, during a bike ride to the picturesque Microsoft hyperscale datacenter in Middenmeer (NL), I learned that Microsoft and Google store over 2 million liters of Diesel there, of which half is burned during monthly and yearly tests of their emergency generator. I suppose this is commonly known, their way to reach 99,999 percent availability, I just never pictured datacenters having *that* many chimneys... Biking past them also lets the hyper-ness of their scale sink in 😱

@l03s fuck the entire cloud computing business, I dare say

@l03s I can really recommend digging up the application and decisions for the "Omgevingsvergunning" because they are public documents. They will tell you exactly how much energy they intend to use. You can then compare that to the total capacity of renewable energy available in NL and... draw conclusions.

@rra do you have experience with this? If you did such a calculation for another datacenter, any data you can share? I can't seem to find documents older than 2018 (that would cover 4 of the 7 buildings they constructed there) but will give it another try later.

@l03s I've done it for Google in the Eemshaven. A key challenge is that these documents are not published with the name of the parent company. In the case of Google and Eemshaven this was Green Box Computing B.V. and/or Deerns UK Ltd. which was the construction contractor. So you would have to figure those out first..

I can mail you the files for Eemshaven that I collected at the time.

@rra I noticed that too! The buildings themselves don't even mention the names of the corporations. Would love to see your Eemshaven results, thank you! 😊

@l03s They’d also presumably need to incinerate dead hard drives

@acb the weirdest thing is, if they burn hardware but recover the energy (heat), their environmental report counts it as part of their 'landfill diversion rate’ (Google Envrionmental report, 2020).

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