Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Green Grid Technical Forum: Day #1

Since Cassatt is a new General Member to the Green Grid, I was able to attend this 2-day meeting. Today's session was quite well-attended... I estimate ~ 300+ participants in the room here in San Francisco for the opening talks and panels. Today/tomorrow appear to be engineered for members (and the press) as a comprehensive report-out of the excellent machinations of the organization and its workgroups.

The morning opened with some end-users (data center operators) such as Enterprise Rent-a-Car and AllState Insurance talking about comprehensive steps they took (and are still taking) to radically shift the efficiency of their operations. (I might interject that one of the strategies Allstate takes is to power-down idle equipment...)

But what was really interesting in the morning were a number of panels covering how the organization is reaching-out to other orgs and to government; panels featured Andrew Fanara of the EPA's EnergyStar program, Paul Sheihing of the DOE's Save Energy Now program, and Anson Wu who's helping develop the EU's CoC (Code of Conduct, roughly analogous to EnergyStar). A number of other organizations, such as Lawrence Berkeley National Labs were also present. It's good to see this degree of cooperation, but what was still left unsaid was specifically how these groups were specifically cooperating. Perhaps one answer lay in the fact that the Green Grid was still spinning-up liaison work groups -- but it's certainly on their radar.

Also really neat was the fact that EnergyStar will be creating a rating system for Data Centers, the same way that they have a rating for buildings, and that DOE will be creating an efficiency diagnostic/assessment tool ("DC-Pro") for Data Centers the same way they have tools for, say, chemical plants.

Also of special note were a number of talks having to do with metrics. Every org has them, and even more are being developed. There's alphabet soup like PUE, DCiE, DCP, SI-POM and DH-UE. In fact, nearly every organization above is proposing metrics to help characterize data center power consumption and efficiency. Finally, the question was asked regarding how to sort through who's creating what metric. I think that's one of the pivotal points -- what will be the generally-accepted set of metrics to use when assessing the efficiency of a data center? Hmmm. Maybe we'll find out on Day #2...

1 comment:

Daren said...

This forum seemed like a great one to attend. It seems like some big players are attending and heading in the right direction.
I really like the idea of energystar getting involved and coming up with a efficiency rating for the data centers. I bet after that is implemented many data centers will be making some major changes. I look forward to seeing where this meeting goes in the future.

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