Easier to be Green

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2007-08-06 Print this article Print

Reaction to the Aug. 3 EPA report was swift and generally positive. "It should significantly boost awareness of the energy issues associated with our ever-increasing reliance on computers, and it provides a very preliminary set of benchmarks," Eric Birch, executive vice president of thermal and airflow solution provider DegreeC in Milford, N.H., told eWEEK.
"I expect many organizations—corporations, universities, cities and states—will find various stakeholders asking new and more pointed questions about whats being done and whats the plan," Birch said. "The questions may come from the desire to go green, or they may be mainly about the money, but by September [after everyone returns from vacation], all sorts of organizations will need to have some answers for such questions their stakeholders will be asking."
NetApp shared a great deal of input and information with the EPA, Chris Bennett, vice president of core systems at NetApp, in Sunnyvale, Calif., told eWEEK. "As a result, the report recognized the companys use of distributed generation and a combined heat and power system, stating that innovative uses of power are among the ways that data center operators can reduce energy usage and costs," Bennett said. NetApp felt it was important to engage in this process with the EPA, given the companys own success with these innovations, Bennett said. "In fact, since implementing these solutions, we have already reduced our electric bill by $60,000, eliminated 94 tons of air conditioning, and cut our storage footprint by 75 percent," Bennett said. "Our engineers have calculated that these energy savings are the equivalent of taking 212 cars off the road." The report is an important step in educating customers, policymakers and the public on opportunities to conserve energy in data centers, said Paul Perez, HP vice president for scalable data center infrastructure, in Palo Alto, Calif. "As a leading provider of energy-efficient products for data centers, HP advocated for the legislation authorizing this report and was pleased to collaborate with the EPA to provide ideas to improve energy efficiency," he said. To read the entire EPA report, go here (PDF). To read an executive summary of the report, go here (PDF). Are "no cooling necessary" data centers on the horizon? Find out here. "HP is reviewing the EPAs recommendations on standards, research and development, and partnerships to determine possible adoption of policies that encourage the public and private sectors to use available technologies to reduce data center energy consumption," Perez said. What is next on the agenda? "We can count on the EPA to develop an extension of the Energy Star benchmark concepts to computer servers and to promote standard efficiency metrics," Birch told eWEEK. "I expect government at all levels to be early adopters of any new benchmarks in their own purchasing policies [just as many are now mandating no more purchases of incandescent lighting]. "I also expect many industry groups will develop and promote voluntary standards to prove they are doing something." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.

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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