Data CenterData Center Architecture

An Update on The Green Grid, Data Center Metrics and Regulation

Recently I met up with Andre Rouyer, Industry and Alliances for The Green Grid, whilst visiting Data Centres Europe. I asked him to bring me up to date with some news of what’s been going on recently in the Green Grid. Andre told me that The Green Grid has changed its view from looking primarily at the energy efficiency of data centers efficiency to look at energy use throughout the design, operations and recycling phases of the data center lifecycle. Andre said, “It is good to look at energy because that is part of the future, but we also need to look at water and carbon emissions, because sometimes you may improve energy efficiency but at the same time you may increase water consumption. So the Green Grid has extended its scope and is now look at resource efficiency across the data center lifecycle including carbon and water.”

Andre also told me that The Green Grid is taking steps to strengthen its presence within European standardization committees. It is essential that whatever insights their research provides, they become incorporated into real working standards, such as IEC standards or ISO standards. The Green Grid has also begun to increase its presence within two new groups that were started in 2012. The first is SC 39, a group which is focussed on “Standardization related to the intersection of resource efficiency and IT which supports environmentally and economically viable development, application, operation and management aspects”. Or, as Andre puts it, “standardized metrics for data centers”.

The other is a coalition group on green data centers, a joint European group including CEN, CENELEC and ETSI working with The Green Grid (and which M. Rouyer is chairing) to assess what is being used today and to standardise all of these metrics.

I closed the conversation by asking Andre if Green Grid news was still attracting a lot of interest from data center owners and operators. He replied, “Yes of course, they are keen to know where we are headed in the future and there are always concerns about a carbon tax in the future. They want to anticipate and prepare for such an eventuality. Keeping in mind that my being involved in the European commission, I don’t see such a thing happening in the near future. Maybe pending, but I don’t anticipate it coming for two or three years.”

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