Making data centers more energy efficient in a recession is a clear-cut decision for IT managers: cut power, save money, gain green PR. And the Green Grid organization, a trade group dedicated to reducing energy consumption of data centers, wants to help out. On Wednesday at the group’s second annual forum, it plans to launch an extensive multiyear guide, as well as a new metric, that can aid companies looking to design and operate energy-efficient data centers.
Larry Vertal, director of the Green Grid and senior strategist at AMD, told us that the guides, dubbed “Data Centers 2.0,” will focus on how to build out data centers while ensuring that the energy consumption of the individual components are tracked in real time. Real-time monitoring can ensure that the whole center is working as efficiently as possible. The organization, which created the industry standard Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) metric that is found by dividing “total facility power” by “IT equipment power,” will also be highlighting a newer metric called data center productivity, or DCP, which will focus on how much useful work is being done as energy is consumed.
Ultimately the Green Grid is a technical organization and is interested in offering its members repeatable metrics and open standards as a baseline for competition. Basically companies can compare their data centers and brag about efficiency or strive to work harder to keep up with the data center Joneses. Any company that owns data centers or sells data center gear is quickly moving to make computing more efficient, so these tools will be useful. In recent weeks Sun (s java), GE (s ge), and Google (s goog) have all highlighted their energy efficiency data center efforts.
For investors, tracking all the parts of data centers require a lot of software and wireless networks, so key an eye on companies selling this type of gear. Energy management startup Sentilla announced recently that it has raised $7.5 million in a second round of funding from Onset Ventures and Claremont Creek Ventures, and just this week is launching a sensor and software system for data center gear.