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Data Center Design and Build Businesses

Several industry groups focus on data center energy efficiency. The Green Grid is the most recently formed group, founded in 2007. Its primary mission is to further data center energy-efficiency initiatives. The Green Grid is composed of IT equipment and component (power supplies, microprocessors, and such) manufacturers, manufacturers of facility support equipment (CRACs, UPS, rack level cooling devices, and others), and data center operators and designers. The group seeks to drive the development of metrics that provide a meaningful measure of data center energy utilization and performance, drive the development of standard protocols to facilitate collection, sharing, and reporting of power and thermal data from IT and facilities equipment, and design and operating strategies that promote optimal data center energy use. The Green Grid has published a collection of white papers on data center metrics and data management. See http://www.thegreengrid.org/ home for additional information on The Green Grid.

Also, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has had a data center subcommittee in operation for many years. The group publishes a set of documents and manuals that provide data centers with cooling strategies that optimize cooling delivery, data center temperature, and humidity profiles, and maximize the cooling delivered per unit of energy applied. Please see http://www.ashrae.org/ for additional information on ASHRAE.

The Uptime Institute consortium of data center operators focuses on tools and strategies to maintain the serviceability and reliability of data centers. The Institute sets various data center performance levels through the tier system, which dictates equipment redundancy and data center environment criteria to maintain a specified level of system availability. Uptime has been adding energy optimization, as well as other critical criteria for data center operation and reliability, which needs to be factored in when considering data center reliability and availability. Please see http://uptimeinstitute.org/ for additional information on the Uptime Institute.

Another group involved in data center and energy-efficiency activities is the Association for Computer Operations Management (AFCOM), which provides education and resources for data center managers. It devotes a portion of its efforts to assisting data center managers to identify energy-efficiency activities. Please see http://www.afcom.com/ for additional information on AFCOM.

Many other groups are associated with energy-efficiency activities. One active group is the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE). The ASE mission: “The Alliance to Save Energy promotes energy efficiency worldwide to achieve a healthier economy, a cleaner environment, and greater energy security. Energy efficiency is the quickest, cheapest, cleanest way to extend our world’s energy supplies.” See http://www.ase.org/ for additional information on ASE. In addition to the groups discussed previously in this section, ASE collaborates with the following organizations:

  • ITherm: An international conference for scientific and engineering exploration of thermal, thermo mechanical, and emerging technology issues associated with electronic devices, packages, and systems (http://www.itherm.com).
  • Efficient Power Supplies: A Web site created by EPRI Solutions, Inc., and Ecos Consulting to encourage a global discussion of energy-efficient power supplies (http://www.efficientpowersupplies.org).
  • Consortium for Energy Efficient Thermal Management: A collaboration of Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Maryland to conduct “research on thermal and energy management of electronics and telecommunications infrastructure” (http://www.me.gatech.edu/CEETHERM/).
  • 7x24 Exchange: An association facilitating the exchange of information for “...those who design, build, use, and maintain mission-critical enterprise information infrastructures....7x24 Exchange’s goal is to improve the end-to-end reliability by promoting dialogue among these groups” (http://www.7x24exchange.org/index.html).
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