Google plans to increase the useful lives of its servers and some networking equipment to six years.

The company made the announcement in its earnings release, a day after Meta said it was increasing its server lifespan to five years.

Google TPU 3.0
– Sebastian Moss

Google said that it completed a lifecycle assessment in January this year, and realized that it could up the lifespan of its equipment after previously running them for four years.

"We expect [the change] to result in a reduction of depreciation of approximately $3.4 billion for the full fiscal year 2023 for assets in service as of December 31, 2022, recorded primarily in cost of revenues and research and development (R&D) expenses," Google's parent Alphabet said in an earnings release.

With technology companies looking to reduce costs, persistent supply chain issues, and semiconductor performance advancements slowing, hyperscalers have begun to eke out more use out of their servers.

In its earnings call this month, Meta announced that it would extend the expected life of servers and some network equipment to five years. This, it said, would save around $1.5bn.

The company previously ran its hardware for around four-and-a-half years, a move that was itself an increase from mid-2022. Prior to that, it estimated a four-year useable life.

Amazon Web Services is believed to run its servers for around five to six years, while Microsoft last year confirmed it had increased its server lifespans to six years.

Back in 2020, all four companies operated servers with a lifespan of just three years.

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