Saturday, February 7, 2009

Vendors to Set Standards for IT Energy Efficiency

By Andrew Conry-Murray

The Green Grid is a new standards body promoting energy efficiency in the IT industry. Its goals are to reduce energy costs and help enterprises better manage energy usage by developing industry-wide metrics for measuring power usage and efficiency, create technology standards, and promote best practices for data center power management.

This week the Green Grid introduced its board of directors: AMD, APC, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Rackable Systems, SprayCool, Sun Microsystems, and VMware.

"When it comes to IT, we are seeing customers are paying as much if not more for energy and power on a yearly basis as they are for purchasing computer equipment," says Tom Bradicich, IBM Fellow and VP of Systems Technology for the Rack, Blade and x86 servers, and a director on the board of Green Grid.

The first goal of the organization is to define standard metrics around energy usage and efficiency for IT hardware, particularly servers. Hardware vendors can then design products and compete in the market against those metrics. The body also plans to create best practices for energy-efficient data centers.

In addition to IT hardware, long-term plans include power-related metrics for software applications; silicon; and power, cooling and management technologies in data centers.

Why bother with a new standards body? The Green Grid believes it can drive new standards more swiftly than existing organizations. "When one wants to accelerate a standard or initiative, it helps being able to travel in your own organization rather than an existing body with its own bylaws and initiatives," says Bradicich.

"But we will work closely with other standards bodies. In some cases, specifications will be submitted to other standards groups."

IT vendors, enterprises and individuals are invited to join the Green Grid. The organization also released three new white papers, available here.


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