Think you've got an especially good idea for how to design a truly green data center? The Green Data Center Alliance (GDCA) is encouraging you to share it. The alliance is seeking best practices as it develops a framework that provides specific guidelines and tips for power reduction.
Derek Schwartz, executive director and founder of the vendor-neutral organization, says the intention isn't to create a new measurement metric like the power usage effectiveness (PUE) specification, it is to help provide insight into specific steps that have worked in real world scenarios. "Our goal is to have field data that is validated," Schwartz says. There are certainly many people who could contribute; formed in 2008, the GDCA has about 5,800 members.
Best practices information will be published as the Data Center Energy Efficiency Framework (or DCEEF). The association has received a grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to develop the framework. There are five specific areas in the framework, including:
- Process, which covers service level management and continuous service improvements
- Information Technologies, such as virtual server management, power efficient servers, rack and cooling technologies, and energy monitoring and measurement software and sensors
- Facilities Design & Engineering, such as natural cooling techniques, hot aisle and cold aisle containment, thermal reuse technologies, cable management
- Governance, mainly accountability and communications policies
- Finance, how to bake green data center philosophies into procurement policy, how to keep track of the power profile of technologies over the life of an asset, and how to charge the appropriate departments
Schwartz says the GDCA hopes to pilot its framework with five companies over a period of at least eight months. The pilot phase probably will end in early 2012, according to GDCA's current stump presentation about the framework creation and publication schedule.