Green Grid energy efficiency group starts work

The Green Grid, a group of technology companies collaborating to improve energy efficiency in datacentres, is officially open for business.

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The Green Grid, a group of technology companies collaborating to improve energy efficiency in datacentres, is officially open for business.

First proposed in April 2006, the Green Grid's is to promote the development of energy efficient processors, servers, networks and other technology and to promote best practices in datacentre operation.

Mark Monroe, director of sustainable computing at Sun Microsystems's SunLabs eco-responsibility group, said the not-for-profit organisation did not expect to be able to reduce energy use, but to use power more efficiently as computer processing demand inevitably grew.

Sun is one of 11 founding members of the Green Grid whose representatives serve as its board. Other member companies include Advanced Micro Devices, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, VMware and Intel.

Although the group includes vendors covering all aspects of datacentre technology -- processors, servers, software and power supply management -- organisers are now inviting the most important group to join: customers.

"We need to pull end users in and get their input," said Jim Pappas, director of technology initiatives at Intel.

User can now sign up to join the Green Grid at its website. Already, about 1,200 people have signed up to receive more information about the group, with 49% identifying themselves as end users or groups representing them.

The Green Grid will be divided into four major working groups – data collection and analysis, technology and strategy, datacentre operations, and metrics and measurements – Pappas said.

Establishing measurements and metrics for energy efficiency would offer a guide for datacentre managers on what results to expect from investing in green technology, Pappas said. This would also give vendors a way to compare their technology.

"We need to make changes to our industry,” Pappas said. The Green Grid would create markets for green technologies, in which vendors would compete.

Green Grid general membership costs $5,000 (£2,500) a year, including access to all technical documentation produced by organisation, along with access to intellectual property licensing and other benefits. A contributing membership, for $25,000 (£12,500) includes an invitation to join technology working groups, review technology documentation at each phase of development and contribute to shaping the future direction of the group.

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