You can tell its the end of summer when people go looking for a fight.
You’ll recall that the Green Grid popped up in February and looked to be gaining momentum when Microsoft and Intel signed on, joining AMD, Dell, HP, Sun, and a bunch of other industry heavy hitters (membership list).
Reportedly the Gartner report criticizes the GG
…saying it misses a greater opportunity to influence legislation and behavior for broader green issues. Gartner also suggested that member self-interest may prevent the group from delivering tangible standards.
The report also highlights a few other specific criticisms of GG by Gartner
There is no specific timeline for The Green Grid’s deliverables.
It needs more user organizations to be members to balance the strong vendor membership.
Vendors will develop proprietary technologies to enhance their greenness and won’t want to share these with other members, limiting the effectiveness of the group.
The IT industry needs a broad voice covering green issues outside the data center and helping to shape legislation. The Green Grid is not involved here.
I think these criticisms are pretty weak in general and are related to one thing: the group hasn’t really done anything visible since the initial press flurry.
The timeline argument is essentially irrelevant on its face; its more of a proxy for the lack of any visible progress to date. When it starts having accomplishments more organizations will join (seeing a reason to do so). And the vendor proprietary business is a guess on their part. It’s certainly possible, but until it happens Gartner’s criticism amounts to knocking down their own strawman.
As far as the legislative angle goes, the facts aren’t clear. In refuting this point the Computerworld article says
…Green Grid’s fact sheet states, “A top priority is to work with the EPA and other appropriate governmental organizations to develop appropriate efficiency metrics for the industry and to produce platform-neutral standards/metrics.”
In fact, I don’t find that statement in any of the matierals I looked at on the GG’s web site (here is their fact sheet so you can check for yourself; it’s also not in their FAQ). But, this is their choice, and the broader IT industry lobbying groups are quite well established and have this on their agenda already anyway. For example, the Information Technology Industry Council, the membership list of which is a Who’s Who of IT, lists energy as environment as one of their key issues for 2007.