EPA finalizes Energy Star spec for servers

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program has released the final version of a specification for enterprise servers that will help government agencies identify systems that deliver performance while reducing energy consumption.

Agency information technology managers will be able to increase the manageability of their servers through better on-board technology if they use systems with the Energy Star rating, EPA officials said.

The Energy Star Version 1.0 Computer Server specification became effective May 15, 2009.

“EPA believes this new server spec is an important first step to help attract attention to the need and opportunity to reduce cost and save energy in federal data center facilities, especially during a time of tight budgets,” said Andrew Fanara, the Energy Star program’s product development team leader.

Data centers are a significant source of energy consumption across the government and the private sector, he said.

“We will develop additional product specs, as well as a whole data-center benchmark, which we hope will be ready in the first quarter of 2010,” Fanara said.

“When you combine these with the diagnostic tools that the Department of Energy is developing, we will be in a much better position to assist the public sector to enhance the management of their IT assets,” he said.

Tier 2 Development

EPA has started to develop the next tier of the computer server specification process, Fanara said in a memo to stakeholders.

“During the Tier 2 process, EPA plans to: Review all specification elements and criteria for refinements; expand the scope to include, but not limited to, servers with greater than four processor sockets, blade systems, fully fault-tolerant servers, server appliances and multi-node systems; and evaluate the potential benefits of a Net Power Loss approach,” the memo stated.

Additionally, EPA is exploring an approach to efficiency that reconciles the energy consumed by the system and the work being performed.

Some industry experts have said that this is a more accurate way to determine a system’s energy efficiency.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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