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The Green Grid shrugs off Gartner's criticisms and announces plans

Quoting eChannelLine

The Green Grid says it will unveil a technical roadmap later this year adding it is dedicated to finding meaningful end user methods as a means of improving performance while promoting the adoption of energy efficient technologies.

The Green Grid, announced last February, is a U.S.-based nonprofit consortium with more than 80 members. It has an 11-person governing committee with members from Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Intel Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc., IBM and Microsoft Corp. Though U.S.-based, the group said its work is global in scope as is the issue of improved energy efficiency.

The organization also has four working groups aimed at developing processes and metrics for making data centers more efficient in the way they use energy for power and cooling. Membership in The Green Grid is open to IT industry professionals, data center managers, and IT operations executives, with an interest in addressing global energy consumption issues.

Jon Haas, energy efficiency program manger at Intel, said prior to The Green Grid's formation, there were no standards for data center IT managers to accurately measure energy efficiency.

"We're now at the point to come forward with a list of specific deliverable metrics to help provide technology leadership," he said. "In terms of where power consumption is at today, we need to go from 'always on' to 'always available.'"

John Pflueger, who leads the power and thermal management initiatives at Dell, said after compiling the required data, the group would then provide IT managers and data centers with a means of assessing what their power consumption levels are as well as provide future guidance on data center design.

"We'll release an efficiency baseline study that will interview a good-sized number of data center managers on how they collect their power consumption information and what they're doing with it," he explained. "Then the Green Grid technical committee will develop database and data center performance metrics . . . we want to provide data center managers a means of looking at the performance of their facility versus the rest of the industry.

"We'll then identify technologies that are effective at improving efficiency and what is required for those efficiencies to be widely adopted."

In addition to the "Data Center Efficiency Baseline Market Study" Pflueger mentioned (a study on the current state of the industry), three more studies would emerge in Q307, officials said: A "Data Center Standards and Metrics Inventory" to document existing standards and metrics for energy efficiency, identify coverage gaps and make recommendations for future development, "The Green Grid Metrics: Describing Data Center Power Efficiency" would update the group's existing study on data center efficiency metrics and would look at workload classification through a data center segmentation model, and a "Power Distribution Options for the Data Center Study."

By Q407, officials said The Green Grid would publish three additional reports, "Operational Best Practices" (focusing on right-sizing the data center and outlining best practices in the adoption of virtualization and consolidation technologies), "Database for Data Center Performance" (development work on a database focused on data center characteristics and performance schema), and a "Cooling Options Study" (focused on the qualitative advantages and disadvantages of data center cooling architectures).

The Green Grid said it would also unveil its technology roadmap in Q407 to provide an initial assessment of existing and emerging technologies affecting data center efficiency and performance, taking into consideration both ROI and risk to the end user.

IT consultancy Gartner Inc. recently criticized the consortium in a report dubbed "The Green Grid: A Paler Shade Of Green," suggesting The Green Grid misses a greater opportunity to influence legislation and industry behaviour. Gartner also said that member self-interest could prevent the group from delivering any tangible standards.

Among the criticisms in the report, The Green Grid needs more user organizations to be members to balance the strong vendor membership, and vendors would develop proprietary technologies to enhance their 'greenness' and won't want to share these with other members, limiting the effectiveness of the group. The report also stated "The Green Grid has the potential to deliver some new standards that will benefit the industry, but don't hold your breath."

Haas responded by saying every standards body is made up of industry leaders and that that wasn't detrimental, rather it is required as it'd allow new standards to be formalized.

Pflueger said all of The Green Grid's member companies are in agreement that tackling energy efficiency in the data center is a common cause.

Read the original, here.

Published Wednesday, August 15, 2007 5:39 AM by David Marshall
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