An agreement has been reached among a number of leading technology companies and industry groups on metrics that should pave the way for a consistent method to measure and monitor energy use in data centers.

The Green Grid, a global consortium of companies, government agencies and educational institutions, announced this week that it has reached an agreement on guiding principles of data center energy efficiency metrics. The agreement has the backing of the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the European Union, and Japan’s Green IT Promotion Council, along with other key industry groups.

“The ultimate goal is to create a set of globally accepted metrics for data center energy efficiency,” Tom Brey, an IBM representative and secretary of The Green Grid, said in a statement. “One of the first, and perhaps most important factors to successfully achieving this aim is establishing a unity of communication.”

Brey said The Green Grid has been working to develop a well-defined language for energy efficiency metrics, which can then be used as a common measuring stick for data centers, regardless of their location. “With that type of consistency, we can start driving behavioral changes in the industry,” he added.

A metric called the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) will serve as the basis for gauging data center efficiency. PUE measures the proportion of a data center’s power usage that is attributable to IT equipment. It also accounts for the percentage of energy that is lost to non-productive activities, such as lighting and cooling.

Using the metric, the Green Grid believes it will be possible to more accurately gauge and compare the energy effectiveness of data centers. Ultimately, it wants to be able to take into account the IT output of a data center as part of the overall energy effectiveness measurement.

The organization said its global task force will continue to move the initiative forward, working with the various government agencies, educational bodies, and representative companies, and will reconvene later this year to evaluate the progress.

 

 

 

 

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