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Green Grid Project Seeks to Save Energy, Money

Green Grid Project Seeks to Save Energy, Money

AMD commissioned a study of 1,200 IT professionals in November. Eighty-three percent said the biggest issue they face is cooling and power within the datacenter. Only 20 percent said they have a plan in place to remedy the issue.

By Jennifer LeClaire
04/20/06 9:29 AM PT

A group of technology industry leaders on Wednesday launched The Green Grid, an effort to help reduce growing power and cooling demands in enterprise datacenters.

AMD, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems and IBM are the founding sponsors of the organization whose goals are supported by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Alliance to Save Energy.

The goal is to decrease the datacenter energy use by defining and propagating best practices in datacenter operation, construction and design. Specifically, the Green Grid is designed to serve as an interactive resource for IT professionals; a forum for sharing proven practices in datacenter energy management as well as working with other organizations to identify new industry-standards and metrics related to energy.

A Growing Concern

AMD commissioned a study of 1,200 IT professionals in November. Eighty-three percent said the biggest issue they face is cooling and power within the datacenter. Only 20 percent said they have a plan in place to remedy the issue.

"Datacenter power consumption is a growing global concern on both a business and environmental level," said Marty Seyer, senior vice president, commercial and performance computing at AMD.

The Green Grid represents not only a call to action for other IT leaders but also a natural next step for a technology industry that is coming of age with respect to solving the world's more pressing problems and challenges, Seyer noted. The Green Grid is recruiting power supply and energy companies, state and regional utilities, channel providers and systems integrators, along with IT professionals and technology companies.

Making Greenbacks

Ultimately, Sun, HP, IBM and AMD are vying to make greenbacks with this green initiative, according to Illuminata analyst Gordon Haff. Sure, cutting operational costs in the data centers is a top of mind issue for many executives, he said, but that's partly because companies like AMD have made it a top of mind issue.

"These companies, quite frankly, would not be embarking on this green grid 'good for the planet' initiative except for the fact that it aligns with issues that its customers care about -- saving money," Haff told TechNewsWorld. "Adding the environment piece allows these companies to present themselves as good corporate citizens, but helping the environment is a byproduct of making money, not the driving force."

Environmental Green Light

The EPA, for one, is deeply concerned about the effects of increasing datacenter power consumption and associated rise in greenhouse gas emissions from datacenter operations. "We believe energy efficiency-focused technology innovation is key to addressing the significant impact that this growing energy use will have both on today's businesses and our environment," said Andrew Fanara of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program.

The Green Grid is devoted to working closely with both the EPA and the Alliance to Save Energy. Both organizations are in full support of The Green Grid and said they would play a key role in the development of the organization's charter as well as collaborating to identify innovative solutions that cut energy costs as well as benefit the environment.


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