Equinix joins Energy Star program

Data centre operator Equinix announced on Monday that it has joined the US Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star program to help the organisation's initiative to develop a ratings program to measure, track and improve the energy performance of data centers.

The Energy Star program was introduced in 1992 by the EPA as a voluntary partnership intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. The label can be found on more than 50 kinds of products, including homes and commercial buildings.

The goal of the program, says the organisation, is to assist data center operators in improving energy efficiency by assessing energy performance using standardized metrics that are simple and can be tracked on a continuous basis.

A partnership with data center operator 365 Main in March was one of the program's first steps into the data center world. Since then, the EPA says at least 215 data centres have volunteered to supply data on their energy usage.

While this initiative will focus on the data centre infrastructure, such as power and cooling operations, a separate Energy Star specification is being developed to address the energy efficiency of servers typically hosted within a data centre and which generally consume as much, or in some cases more, power than the operational infrastructure.

EPA plans to expand the Energy Star program to other data center IT products longer term, including storage and networking equipment.

Equinix's participation in the program will include the collection of 12 consecutive months of IT and data center energy use data from June 2008 through June 2009 from a sampling of its US Internet Business Exchange centers.

"Together with EPA and our industry peers, Equinix is pleased to help develop consistent methods for measuring energy performance as well as sharing industry best practices for operators of large data centres," says Dave Pickut, chief technology officer for Equinix.

"Equinix has more than 10 years of experience in designing and building some of the most modern data centers in the industry and we believe that we have a lot to offer, as well as a lot to gain, from participating in this initiative."

Over the past few months, Equinix has been working hard to demonstrate its commitment to "green" hosting initiatives. Its efforts were recently recognised at the Data Centers Europe conference where Equinix won the "Data Centers Europe Green Award."

And in May, the company not only joined The Green Grid, but all four of Equinix's Silicon Valley IBX centers were "green" certified by the Bay Area Green Business Program.

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