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Data centre builders offered 'green' design guide

The Green Grid consortium has announced plans to create a "top-to-bottom" design guide for building energy-efficient data centres, as well as new metrics for estimating data centre productivity.

The plans will be discussed at the Green Grid's second annual conference in San Jose, California, where the consortium will also provide some advice about how to use its PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) metric introduced last year, which provides a way to measure data centre efficiency.

The consortium's members are mostly IT vendors, but also include some end-user companies, such as The Walt Disney Company and eBay. It was set up two years ago to produce tools, metrics and educational resources to help solve the problem of escalating power consumption in data centres.

The 'Data Center 2.0' design guide will offer ways to minimise energy use for both new facilities and those being retrofitted, said Mark Monroe, a Green Grid board member and the director of sustainable computing for Sun Microsystems. The first release will be out in about a year, he said.

"It's meant as an end-to-end guide, from the IT equipment all the way through to the facility infrastructure that supports it, and as a top-to-bottom guide, from measurement and management through to operations and how you run the data centre," Monroe said.

There is already a plethora of documentation devoted to reducing energy use in data centres. The Green Grid says there remains a need for a "single authoritative source" that looks at data centres holistically.

It was the Green Grid that came up last year with the PUE ratio, which provides a way to measure overall data centre efficiency and has been used by Microsoft and Google to show off the efficiency of their most state of the art data centres.

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