It should come as no surprise that the changes in technology and business needs that impact the datacenter are coming along at a fast and furious pace. With the term ‘green" being applied to just about everything related to the datacenter, operators are continually looking for ways to improve their business processes and to evaluate what their future needs will be, not just in terms of performance and price, but also using metrics that were unthought-of of a decade ago, such as sustainability, carbon impact, and energy efficiency.
With the greengrid.org's Data Center Maturity Model, a datacenter operator can find the context for all areas of their datacenter operation. Despite its name, the metric isn't one that determines where you are in the lifecycle of your datacenter, but rather one which determines how well situated your current datacenter is in terms of meeting the current standard for an efficient operation and how well positioned it is for the future.
The metric considers all areas of datacenter operation from facilities to IT loads, and allows the user to determine where in the datacenter operations world their facility is on, above, or behind the curve. It does this by providing information that was derived by starting with a datacenter implementation which is strictly old school and has put no effort into future proofing or even meeting current standards that define a green and business effective datacenter, then builds on that base through five levels of datacenter maturity that show you where your facility is in terms of current datacenter trends.
The evaluative criterion, which is fairly detailed, is broken down into five levels:
Level 0: This is the baseline level. Little to no progress has been attempted or made in moving the datacenter towards being a more efficient and greener facility.
Level 1: At this level, management is aware of the current best practices for their datacenter and has begun to implement policies and planning that will bring them in line with current standards.
Level 2: At this level, the facility is doing a good job meeting current best practices standards for their day to day operations.
Level 3/Level 4: Ath these levels steps are being taken to look towards the future, with changes being made to the datacenter that reflect future trends, standards, and long term goals.
Level 5: Visionary - Five years away. At his level the datacenter is going far beyond simply meeting the current best practices standard and is actively implementing and pursuing cutting edge technologies and strategies that are going to be the driving forces projected in datacenter technologies in the near future.
When you take a look at the DCMM chart you can see that not every aspect of your datacenter is likely to fit cleanly into a well-defined niche, but the model does give you a good idea of where all aspects of your datacenter operation stand, relative to planning and the future, and for that reason alone, it's worth a good look.