The Green Grid announces strategy

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The Green Grid yesterday released details of its near term plans. After getting started just six months ago the group has come a long way, putting together a solid technical strategy and the core teams necessary to get the job done.

The Green Grid logoAt a press event before the release yesterday the group reiterated its bottom up focus (partly in response to questions about criticisms from the Gartner Group): start with the data center now, where they feel they can make a near-term impact and get their hands around the problem, and work out to larger issues over the long term when there is a contribution to be made.

The group seems very focused on practical steps, which is refreshing and to my mind indicates that they might actually accomplish what they’re setting out to get done.

The strategy is focused around three thrusts: data collection, data assessment, and technology proposals. These thrusts will help data centers understand what data they should be collecting to get a handle on their energy performance (and how they should be collecting it), how to put that data in the context of best practices, and what technologies data center managers should be planning for as they look for ways to shrink their energy footprint.

The near term plan is aggressive, with major deliverable documents in all thrusts by the end of this year. Certainly some of these documents will be high level, but the group intends to iterate and refine over time. The list of planned documents is comprehensive and, speaking as someone who runs a large datacenter, actually looks useful. Since their press release isn’t up yet, I’ve stuck the schedule in below.

The focus of the briefing (and the press event) is on the immediate future, and certainly addresses concerns that have been raised about timelines and—if they can meet their goals—concrete actions.

Specifically, as part of its technology roadmap, The Green Grid has announced the following deliverables:

Data Collection

  • Data Center Standards and Metrics Inventory (Q3’07) – this study will document existing standards and metrics for energy efficiency, identify coverage gaps and make recommendations for future development.
  • The Green Grid Metrics: Describing Data Center Power Efficiency (Q3’07) – this study will be an update to The Green Grid’s existing study on data center efficiency metrics and will look at workload classification through a data center segmentation model.
  • Operationalizing Energy-Efficiency Data Collection (Q4’07) – this study will identify the requirements for collecting and aggregating data center power consumption data.

Data Assessment

  • Data Center Efficiency Baseline Market Study (Q3’07) – this study on the current state of the industry will allow The Green Grid to identify key factors driving companies to take action on data center power consumption and the challenges in doing so. Collecting and analyzing this data will help to provide companies with a baseline to compare their own initiatives, goals and performance.
  • Operational Best Practices (Q4’07) – these studies will focus on right-sizing the data center and will outline best practices in the adoption of virtualization and consolidation technologies.
  • Database for Data Center Performance (Q4‘07) – The Green Grid will begin development work on a database focused on data center characteristics and performance schema.

Technology Proposals

  • Initial Technology Roadmap (Q4’07) – this roadmap provides an initial assessment of existing and emerging technologies affecting data center efficiency and performance, taking into consideration both return on investment and risk to the end user.
  • Power Distribution Options for the Data Center Study (Q3’07) – this study will look at the qualitative advantages and disadvantages of data center power distribution configurations.
  • Cooling Options Study (Q4’07) – this study will focus on the qualitative advantages and disadvantages of data center cooling architectures.


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