EPA Targets the Yeoman Server First for Energy Star

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2007-09-17 Print this article Print

Servers and server support consume 1.2 percent of all electricity, a number that is expected to double by 2011.

DALLAS—Volume servers, those commodity machines most enterprises have running somewhere in their IT systems, are the low-hanging fruit that the EPAs Energy Star server program is targeting first in its quest to bring more energy efficiency to the data center. Andrew Fanara, director of the Energy Star Product Specifications Development Team, told a capacity audience of about 850 attendees at AFCOM Data Center World here at the Gaylord Texan hotel Sept. 17 that open-systems volume servers "are probably the least efficient in terms of power consumption, and are the easiest to convert or replace than other servers."
Those inefficient and prolific servers are in large part responsible for the stunning fact that servers and supporting infrastructure represent 1.2 percent of all electricity used in the U.S., a figure which has doubled from 2000-2005 and expected to double again by 2011, Fanara said.
"Over the next five years, power failures and supply limitations will halt operations at some point in 90 percent of all data center operations. By next year, half of all data centers will have insufficient power supplies, which means we need to move quickly on this." To read about the EPAs efforts to give a tax break to companies with energy efficient IT practices, click here. The EPA is in the process of developing Energy Star standards and certifications for various IT products, similar to existing Environmental Protection Agency programs for household appliances—starting first with servers. The Energy Star division filed a report to the EPA and Congress last month that challenged the vendors to focus on building only low-power servers, which be classified an Energy Star machine. It also outlined existing and emerging opportunities for energy efficiency, voluntary programs to promote energy-efficient servers and data centers and demands the federal government to lead by example to achieve energy conservation goals. Fanara said hes been talking to "virtually all" of the major server makers and says they are all on board with the EPA as far as improving future versions of the products to make them more energy efficient. Fanara said that the lack of realistic federal power efficiency and best-practice guidelines are a current barrier for server makers and enterprises that use them, both of which agree saving power is good for business and the environment. Climbing power and cooling costs are becoming alarming issues for companies trying to rein in data center expenses. A number of companies, including Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, Advanced Micro Devices and Intel, as well as lesser-known ones such as Pillar Data Systems, BlueArc and Rackable Systems, have been proactive in building servers or processors that use energy much more efficiently. Page 2: EPA Targets the Yeoman Server First for Energy Star

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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