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Time to Turn Green

Industry forums are a dime a dozen (or a lot more if you're a member). You join up, pay your dues, and in return catch a ride on whatever marketing bandwagon is rolling by. But a newly formed group may challenge this timeworn routine.

The Green Grid is a newly unveiled consortium that's looking to save electrical energy in data centers. And it may just shame some of the bigger IT players into putting their money where their mouths are. (See Green Grid Addresses Efficiency.)

For months, the issue of data center energy consumption has been a pet marketing platform for vendors of storage gear. 3PAR, Pillar, NetApp, and others have peddled the idea that their wares somehow improve the profile of IT energy use. (See Power Problems Plague Users and Pillar's Power Pitch.) Power efficiency has also been a rallying cry for companies in the managed services business. (See 365 Main.)

Unlike these PR pitches, the Green Grid aims for specifics. The group hopes to establish a standard metric for determining how energy-efficient a data center is. They will also seek a consensus on best practices.

The Green Grid has already started work. Three white papers on its Website outline the problem and describe simple, straightforward ways to measure energy use. The language is refreshingly direct. Here's an example from one document: "Vendors commonly put inefficient power suppies in high-volume servers because they don't see a competitive advantage in putting in more efficient components."

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