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Once you own data centers, energy consumption becomes a major consideration.

I'm not doing stuff like that but I assume the train of thought concerning the economics of energy consumption is like that: You buy new hardware and from experience you know it's going to last on average a few years. During the lifetime of your new hardware you can save some amount of money on electricity because your new hardware is more efficient than the old one. So it would make sense to hit the buy button for the new hardware when you can save money:

(Savings in electricity over the lifetime) - (Price of new hardware) > 0

I assume after a few years the savings may become significant.

It's not so simple. Deprovisioning hardware takes work to move the services away (yes, even in Google) and breaks things. It also costs to physically remove the hardware and ship it and refurbish the DC to host new hardware.

Big tech companies are often running hardware for longer than you think - just not using old hw for cloud hosting.

I assume the costs of repairs and spare parts would also enter that equation.

An aside: it can be a good exercise to use the above reasoning to decide when to buy a new car

That reasoning will push buying new cars away to the moment the old ones completely fail, and not a second before.

For cars it is much more important to calculate the risk of it failing in some moment you need it, and the costs of being suddenly carless. Also, for cars that go on a road, the most relevant factor is safety.

Having done the maths, and living in a country with very high fuel prices, I have to say that everything seems to be in favour of putting up with small old cars as long as possible!

It's also a good reason to update major appliances regularly. Washers that use too much water to fridges that are inadequate insulated.

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