This will be the year in which IT managers, data center administrators and other constituents who care will finally get some more industry-wide visibility into what their green IT or eco-efficiency expectations should be for storage, servers and other data center level technology.
Up this week: The Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA), which represents 400 member companies and roughly 7,000 individuals, has just come out with a draft proposal for what it's calling the Green Storage Initiative (GSI) Green Storage Power Management Specification. This first pass is focused primarily on providing a baseline standard for idle power that the group helps will provide companies with a uniform of evaluating green factors related to various storage products. Considering the rate at which storage devices continue to proliferate AND the fact that storage amounts to about 13 percent of the energy consumption load in a typical data center, this is an area that SNIA members are increasingly hoping to manage more effectively.
You can download the public review copy of the specification at this link.
There are two main things covered within:
First, the draft sets out a suggested taxonomy for how to classify various sorts of storage products including Online, Near-Online, Removable Media Libraries, Non-Removable Media Libraries, Infrastructure Appliances and Infrastructure Switches.
Second, as I already mentioned, it suggests criteria for handling idle power measurement. "We're really trying to get everyone at the same starting point," says Al Thomason, storage portfolio manager foor IBM and vice chairman of the SNIA Green Storage Initiative. The group hopes that member companies will start using these tools to report results back to the industry in a way such as they can be compared to results for competitive or complementary technologies. "The tools can also be used by end users to make these comparisons," Thomason says.
Results are reported in raw gigabytes per watt and consider the following: model number, raw storage capacity, the type of storage media included, the number of enclosures included in a system or the number of tape drives in a library.
SNIA plans to release guidelines for other measurements throughout 2009 including a standard way of collecting active power information and metrics as well a way to look at power supply efficiency. It also intends to help publicize test results.