October 5, 2009 -- At a forum hosted in New York City by NYSE Euronext, The Green Grid announced new tools and reports designed to allow business leaders and data center managers to globally improve efficiency in their operations. Representatives from The Green Grid, United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and United States Department of Energy (DOE), along with executives from a variety of industries, shared their challenges with data center energy management and offered practical steps for improvement.
EPA assessment report
At the forum, The Green Grid presented the results of a recently-completed assessment of a mid-tier data center operated by the EPA, along with recommendations for next steps that EPA can follow to improve efficiency.
“We applaud EPA’s leadership in opening up their operations to this level of examination, and we encourage other organizations to work with us to develop standards and explore ways they can improve their own operations,” said John Tuccillo, The Green Grid’s chairman of the board. “If the EPA can deploy techniques that improve efficiency by 20 percent, they can save $15,000 per year in this one data center. [Technology research consultancy] IDC estimates that there are 75,000 similar-sized data centers across the United States, and if all of them could achieve that same level of savings, more than $1.1 billion in annual energy costs could be avoided in data centers across the country.”
“We want to thank The Green Grid for their commitment to helping improve energy efficiency in data centers across the globe,” added Linda Travers, acting chief information officer and acting assistant administrator, office of environmental information, EPA. “This is an excellent first step in the government’s path to operating as efficiently as possible. As October is Energy Awareness Month, this marks an appropriate occasion for others to follow our lead.”
Collaboration with U.S. Department of Energy
The Green Grid also announced that it continues to assist the Department of Energy in testing and validating the DC Pro tool, an online software tool provided by the U.S. Department of Energy to help industries worldwide identify how energy is being consumed by their data center(s) and identify the best opportunities for savings. .
The Green Grid and the U.S. Department of Energy’s ‘Save Energy Now’ program are working together to enhance the Department of Energy's DC Pro software tool suite by: ensuring common energy metrics between The Green Grid tools, DC Pro and the Energy Star portfolio manager tool; developing an IT energy assessment module; and creating a complementary Certified Energy Practitioner program where data center energy professionals would perform energy assessments using DC Pro.
New regional tools for ‘free cooling’
The Green Grid also announced new free online tools and maps designed to help data center and facilities managers in Japan and 33 European countries easily determine how much outside air -- also known as “free cooling” -- is available for individual data centers. These new tools provide data center managers in Japan and Europe with real-world data to help lower energy consumption and related costs, potentially extending the life and improving the energy efficiency of data center facilities.
Using country and city names, data center managers in Europe or Japan can input their specific variables - such as local energy costs, IT load, and facility load - to determine the specific potential energy savings for individual facilities. In addition to free cooling from outside air, the tool provides information about savings that could be obtained using water-side economizers. For example:
-- A 1 megawatt (1000kW) data center in Paris, France, with power at 13.2 cents per kW hour, could save 330,000 Euro per year using free cooling, or 180,000 Euro per year using a water-side economizer.
-- A 1 megawatt (1000kw) data center in Tokyo, Japan, with power at 24 Yen per kW hour, could save 43,020,000 Yen per year using free cooling, or 27,500,000 Yen per year using a water side economizer.
“Data centers with increasing IT loads require more power to cool them, so finding cooling options that use less power is critical not only for organizations that don’t have resources to build new facilities but also for those that want to save money,” commented Vic Smith, Dell representative and EMEA technical work group chair of The Green Grid. “For much of the year, the air outside data centers can be cooler than the air inside. This tool that The Green Grid has developed will help determine how much free cooling a specific data center can leverage.”
Tools are now available for the U.S., Japan, and the following European countries: Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and United Kingdom.
New PUE reporting tool
Finally, the Green Grid also introduced a new free online tool for data center managers to record their Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) scores that will establish global consistency in reporting the split between energy flowing to IT equipment and facility operations.
“The Green Grid’s PUE metric is now widely adopted as the standard for measuring data center efficiency, and we’ve taken necessary steps to refine it so that it becomes even more impactful,” said The Green Grid’s Tuccillo. “We expect that the user-driven database will be an invaluable tool for data center managers to determine the relative energy efficiency of their operations by comparing to others across industries, or even inside their own company.”
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