Neeraj Bhatia's Blog

March 14, 2012

Green Capacity Planning Part-2: Driving forces

In my last blog post we have discussed about the background of Green Capacity Planning and what it is about. We have briefly touched various regulatory authorities which are actively working to promote Green IT practices and to lay down guidelines to measure, report and improve the energy efficiency of a data center. We call them driving forces and today we will discuss about these forces and their work.

EPA & DOE

Let’s start with US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which was established in 1970 to consolidate in one agency a variety of federal research, monitoring, standard-setting and enforcement activities to ensure environmental protection. Along with other initiatives, ENERGY STAR is most popular and successful program carried out by EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) jointly to promote energy efficient products and practices and thus helping us save money and protect the environment. You must have seen a ENERGY STAR rating while buying an electronic product. Earning ENERGY STAR certification means these products meet energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and DOE. With ENERGY STAR and other initiatives like Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP), EPA is helping businesses to buy Green IT products. It enables green vendors, businesses and consumers to evaluate information about green products and services and calculate the costs and benefits of their choices.

EEA

The European Environment Agency (EEA) is an agency of the European Union. With currently 32 member countries its goal is to help in developing, adopting, implementing and evaluating environmental policy. European Union European Environment Agency (EEA) and US EPA has released code of conduct for data centers to reduce the energy consumption in a cost-effective manner without hampering the functions of data centers. These codes of conduct give guidelines to constantly measure power usage effectiveness (PUE) and to attain an average PUE of 2.0 (more details about PUE will be discussed in a later blog post). Similarly organizations are advised to report and put efforts to reduce carbon emission levels.

The Green Grid

The Green Grid is a non-profit, open industry consortium of end-users, policy-makers, technology providers, facility architects, and utility companies collaborating to improve the resource efficiency of data centers. With more than 175 member companies around the world, The Green Grid seeks to unite global industry efforts, create a common set of metrics, and develop technical resources and educational tools to further its goals.

The Green Grid was formed in February, 2007 with headquarter in Oregon. Currently the board has following members: AMD, Dell, EMC, Emerson Network Power, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, Schneider Electric, and Symantec.

The Green Grid proposed several metrics to report and increase the efficiency of a data center. As discussion about these metrics is self-contained in it’s own we will discuss them in a later blog post.

LEED

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is basically a third-party certification program. It is responsible for design, operation and construction of high performance green buildings. This ensures the buildings are environmentally compatible, provide a healthy work environment and are profitable. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED is intended to provide building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. LEED is not specific to only data centers but all buildings.

LEED New Construction buildings are awarded points for sustainability for things like energy-efficient lighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures and collection of water to name a few. Recycled construction materials and energy efficient appliances also impact the point rating system.

That’s it for now. This lays the foundation for most interesting part of the process which is monitoring and measurement where we will discuss various techniques to measure power utilization data.

Cheers,

Neeraj

Link to part-1: Green Capacity Planning: Background & Concepts

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