Emerson Network Power announced that it is encouraging its customers and data center operators throughout North America to participate in a rare opportunity to define a range of criteria applicable to a future ENERGY STAR™ Data Center Infrastructure Rating. When completed, the rating will help data center operators assess the energy performance of their building’s infrastructure assets and compare their performance to their peers across the United States.
In close collaboration with Emerson Network Power and other industry partners, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is looking for more than 100 organizations with 1,000-square-feet and greater data centers to voluntarily sign-up within the next month to provide energy use and other data that will help develop the ENERGY STAR Data Center Infrastructure Rating. The official deadline to submit an expression of interest to the EPA and to initiate data collection is June 1. Participants must collect 12 consecutive months of IT and building (whole building if stand-alone or data center portion only if within a larger building) energy use data, and submit this data no later than June 1, 2009.
"We believe that a data center energy standard should be based on what is actually occurring in facilities today because organizations are not able to improve what they don’t measure," said Jack Pouchet, Director of Energy Initiatives, Emerson Network Power, and a contributor to the EPA’s August 2007 data center energy efficiency report to Congress. "We strongly support the development of a real-world energy consumption model for data centers as there currently isn’t a universal definition of useful work in a data center comparable to MPG in the automotive industry. As the premier provider of data center infrastructure technologies, Emerson will be reaching out to its customer base to promote their involvement in this important data collection initiative."
Organizations that engage with Emerson Network Power for a data center assessment will can compile information for the EPA study and establish an internal reporting system. While assessing a data center’s power and cooling capacities and strategies, a local sales representative from Emerson Network Power will gather needed figures about data center operational performance.
Mike Zatz of the EPA noted, "We are delighted to see a market leader such as Emerson Network Power supporting our efforts to build this critical knowledge base of data center energy consumption. We look forward to their continued support as we work to build an ENERGY STAR classification for data centers."
According to the EPA, the rating will be usable for both stand-alone data centers, as well as data centers housed within office or other buildings. It will assess performance at the building level to explain how a building performs relative to its peers. Interested parties should download an official participation form to express their intent to monitor the energy use of their data centers during the coming year and to supply data to the EPA’s contractor, ICF International, for the purpose of developing the ENERGY STAR Data Center Infrastructure Rating. The EPA reports that data provided will be held only by ICF, and will not be shared with any parties other than EPA. Data shared with EPA will be masked so that the identity of individual data centers cannot be ascertained.
After going through this process, the IT industry will join many other industries that operate with an Energy Star rating for their buildings, including real estate, government, healthcare, education, industrial and retail, among others.